A FORMER Skibbereen Community School teacher is mid-way through treatment for debilitating Lyme Disease in Germany and is already noticing a huge improvement in her condition.
Last month Karin O’Shea (26) launched a heartfelt fundraiser to cover the cost of the intensive treatment after all medical options here failed.
It has so far generated almost €77,000 and it meant she was able to embark on her treatment – essentially her last chance at living a normal life – at the start of March.
Speaking from Germany, she described her regime of treatments as a ‘marathon.’
‘I don’t think anything could have prepared me for how intense it is. However I am so well looked after here,’ she said.
Procedures she’s undergoing include hyperthermia. ‘My body reaches a temperature of 41.8 degrees which is needed to kill the Lyme bacteria. ‘Doctors were happy with how I responded. The die-off of these toxins on the other hand is pure torture but necessary. The after effects of nausea and pain and swelling were intense but I am recovering,’ she said.
She’s also had many IV infusions, detoxification protocols, laser and blood filtering treatments and more.
With two weeks done, and two to go she said: ‘I’m already noticing mobility back in legs and brain function improving.’
From Kilgarvan in Kerry, she was diagnosed with Lyme disease, caused by a tick bite, last April after years of unexplained medical issues.
She attended an infectious disease specialist here and was put on a treatment plan for several months. It was unsuccessful and she was left mainly bed-bound and in almost constant pain.
Her health seriously deteriorated last October, and she had to leave her teaching job in Killarney which she loved. She previously taught religion in Skibbereen Community School. Her partner AJ Christian, and mum Mary, have travelled with her.
Her dad Mick is from Kealkil and is known in West Cork having previously worked in tyre centres in both Skibbereen and Bantry.
‘It’s amazing and frightening to see what they can do for my condition in Germany in two weeks, and couldn’t do anything in Ireland for me for 12 years of suffering.
‘ I don’t want to scare people, but I wish I had my time back and was made more aware of the dangers of ticks and had been more cautious.
‘I can’t imagine how different things could have been.
‘The doctors here have said I have a long road ahead of me due to the severity of my case and how it affected my nervous system and brain, but with hard work and persistence I will recover.
‘I’m so grateful to get this treatment thanks to the generosity of people.
‘I was wheeled in, but can’t wait to walk out.’