BY MICHELLE CREAN
A man whose life has been destroyed by Lyme Disease this week joined with Councillor Michael Cahill’s call for a dedicated Lyme Disease Treatment Unit in the south of Ireland as well as the urgent appointment of a Consultant in Infectious Diseases for University Hospital Kerry.
Paul Doherty (52), who has suffered with Lyme Disease resulting in chronic pain and fatigue since being bitten by an infected tick in Kerry in August 1989, says there should be experts in every county.
Living in Killorglin, Paul says he cannot work and can barely afford the expensive medications which help alleviate his worsening symptoms.
He says although he looks healthy on the outside, Lyme Disease has destroyed his body inside, and has more recently suffered severe brain and heart problems as the disease goes deeper into his body.
“The longer you have it untreated the deeper it goes into the body,” Paul said.
“Lyme attacks the brain and the heart. I now suffer from heart problems and have had multi brain scans which show signs of lesions and white matter – but they can’t find anything wrong. Sometimes it feels like my head is in a clamp and I get dizzy spells.”
He said medical professionals are decades behind when it comes to diagnosing Lyme Disease.
“It’s almost like the HSE are denying it exists. They need Lyme literate professionals in every county – but the health professionals don’t seem interested.”
Although his Irish Lyme tests came back negative Paul has been diagnosed with Lyme Disease in Germany after undergoing private tests – but treatment could cost up to €30,000.
To help Paul fundraise, go to GoFundMe: Help Paul Doherty Beat Lyme Disease.