A woman suffering from life-threatening Lyme disease claims she was misdiagnosed as having depression and anxiety for 12 years.
Vanessa Boyd, 28, of Dronfield, Derbyshire, began experiencing bizarre symptoms from the age of 16 and claims she saw at least 30 different health professionals.
From her teenage years onwards she was struck down with vertigo, dizziness, seizures, palpitations, numbness, fatigue, insomnia, blurred vision and bleeding from the ear.
But doctors diagnosed depression and generalised anxiety disorder – and she was treated with antidepressants and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
It wasn’t until she researched the symptoms of Lyme disease online that she requested a private test, and was finally diagnosed with the tick-borne illness in July 2015.
But after her health failed to improve – and being told there is no cure for the illness – she travelled to the US to see a specialist.
There, she paid £60,000 for a nine-month course of private treatment which she hopes will stop the bacteria from ravaging through her body – with her father preparing to sell his house to pay for her care.
Lyme disease, or Lyme borreliosis, is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks, tiny spider-like creatures found in woodland and heath areas.
The illness can be treated effectively with antibiotics if it’s caught early – but if left untreated it can cause severe and long-lasting problems.
Once the infection has spread around the body, there is no clear consensus on the best treatment, as the underlying cause is not clear, according to the NHS Choices website.
Lyme disease has garnered much attention recently as a spate of celebrities have been diagnosed with it, igniting debate over how it is transmitted.