A singer has been struck down with a debilitating virus which doctors are refusing to recognise as chronic Lyme Disease.
Clare Haworth is now being forced to fund treatment privately from an infectious diseases expert in Ireland.
Her best friend, BBC weather girl Judith Ralston, and Judith’s teenage son Alex have launched a GoFundMe page to help her pay for it.
Clare, 49, from Stepps, Glasgow, said: “I am a really outdoor person. I have a standard poodle called Norris and had a horse, Florence. I was always out with them up at the farm – a prime location for ticks but I have no recollection at all of a tick bite.
“If you get bitten on your arm or leg, you would see it, but if it was behind your ear or on your head you wouldn’t even realise it had happened.”
But about five years ago Clare, also a choral instructor for North Lanarkshire Council, started to feel out of sorts.
She said: “One of the huge symptoms was fatigue, as well as strange muscle aches and pains. I had inflammation in my knees and joints and it moved into my wrists and elbows. I had really bad neck pain.
“I also began to get depression and that worried me because I am a very outgoing person.
“Then my memory started to become affected.
“I hadn’t been to my GP in years but the only thing he focussed on was the depression and gave me anti-depressants.”
At one point, they even thought she may have hypochondria.
Clare began to do her own research and kept coming back to Lyme Disease.
But her GP told her she definitely didn’t have it.
She had an NHS Lyme Disease test which came back negative.
Eventually, Clare spent £700 to have a test in a German specialist laboratory, which confirmed she had the disease. But Scots doctors still refused to accept there was a chronic form so she had to seek treatment elsewhere.
She found Dr Jack Lambert, a Scot who is now a consultant in Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin.
He has since started her on two antibiotics.
Clare said: “It is crazy the NHS in Scotland won’t recognise it. I just want my life back.”
Judith said: “Clare has lost a lot of weight. She wasn’t alert, it was like she was in a fog. It was alarming to see.”
To donate to Clare’s treatment visit the GoFundMe page.
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