A feature segment that played on CBS TV in Philadelphia. We're hoping telling Chris' story will help others. http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2014/07/07/health/
It started 5 years ago with a slight twitch of the third finger of his left hand. Now, my brother Chris who was a healthy, active, college educated young man with his whole life ahead of him, is totally disabled, needing help with even the smallest of daily tasks. He cannot walk, eat, bathe or dress himself. He cannot speak, which is the most frustrating of all of his symptoms as trying to communicate even the most basic of thoughts is extremely difficult. Some days are worse than others and the fight that has gone on for so long, is just too much to handle. Chris saw 16 doctors over 5 years and none offered any answers or effective treatment plans. Some doctors said maybe Parkinson's Disease was the cause while others simply said they had no idea. One doctor went as far as to say Chris is a young man and he will just have to learn to live with it!
Since we were not about to simply give up the fight and let Chris continue to fade and worsen and accept, as these many doctors had done so easily, their notion that we would never know the cause for Chris' problems, we continued to search for answers and for a cure. Then, Just 7 months ago, with some Internet searching, some help from a couple of generous Lyme Disease Saavy volunteers and some extensive testing, Lyme Disease and some of its co-infections like Babesia and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever turned out to be the culprits. Finally after all this time we had answers. With this information, Chris went to another 3 doctors, Chronic Lyme specialists, who were unable to come up with an effective treatment. Initial improvements he had seen faded away and it was obvious there were more missing pieces of this complicated medical puzzle.
Then in early January, we were lucky to have gotten an appointment with one of the country's top Lyme Disease Doctors. This doctor performed a battery of tests, which showed some additional co-infections and other miscellaneous infections that have prevented previous treatment protocols from being effective. With these new results we have a much more complete medical picture and a renewed hope that now, after all this time, we are on the right path to an effective treatment plan for Chris who has suffered far too long with something that should have been diagnosed, treated properly and corrected long ago.
This medical journey for Chris, searching for answers and a cure, has taken such a toll on all of us physically, emotionally and financially. Since his insurance company, like many of them today, does not pay for many of the Chronic Lyme Disease related medical expenses, treatment has been an enormous financial burden. Compounding the problem is that our parents have only been able to work part-time jobs so that they can care for Chris' needs. Just to give you an idea of these ongoing expenses, last year Chris' out of pocket medical expenses exceeded $15,000 and this year, that amount will likely double.
It is however, money well spent as we strongly believe we are now on the right path for a return to health for Chris. It will be another long and costly road to travel but a road we travel eagerly, with enthusiasm and with the hope that this doctor will give Chris back his health and his life.
Thank you so much for reading our story and in considering being a part of our family's fight for Chris' health with a donation to his medical fund.