Urges Lyme Awareness- Crystal River, FL
Citrus County Chronicle Online
Victim urges Lyme disease awareness
Illness spread by tick bites
By Chris Van Ormer
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 9:36 pm ore
* WHAT: Fundraiser for Lyme disease treatment.
* WHEN: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.
* WHERE: Cities Bar, 715 S.E. U.S. 19, Crystal River.
* ON THE NET:http://goo.gl/ekw2uf
As she moves through her busy life as a mother, wife and real estate agent, Tyler Vaughn looks the picture of health.
Few would guess she has Lyme disease.
The most common tick-borne illness in the Northern Hemisphere, Lyme disease is often thought to be confined to the northern states. Not so, according to Vaughn, who was bitten by a tick almost four years ago while on a camping trip in Live Oak.
“I had never heard of Lyme disease before,” she said. “Multiple doctors told me I couldn’t have Lyme disease because Lyme disease is not in Florida. But it absolutely is here. The risk is in our own back yard and I’d just like people to be aware of it and know what to do about it. Go to the doctor and get antibiotics.”
Now coping with the late stage of the disease, Vaughn said she suffers from extreme fatigue, chest pain, heart palpitations, poor memory and an overall lack of cognitive function, anxiety, depression, sensitivity to light, vertigo, ringing in the ears, adrenal fatigue, multiple miscarriages, stressed liver and kidneys, twitching and numbness in her limbs and toxic overload.
In addition, Vaughn did not get her diagnosis until February 2013.
“It took me three years and 11 doctors,” she said. “Through lack of awareness, I went undiagnosed for so long.”
After researching her symptoms herself and even getting a false negative result on a Lyme disease test, she learned that she needed to send a blood sample to a specialty lab, she said. Vaughn started fresh with a Crystal River physician, Dr. Lakshmi Padala, who had treated Lyme disease patients in a previous practice in northern states.
Not only did Vaughn find out she had Lyme disease, she learned her 2-year-old son Eli could be affected.
“He could have contracted it in the womb or through breast milk,” she said. “His test came back negative from the specialty lab.”
Eli will continue to be monitored for the illness.
Late diagnosis allows more intense symptoms to develop. According to the Mayo Clinic (mayoclinic.org): If you’re treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of the disease, you’re likely to recover completely. In later stages, response to treatment may be slower.
Vaughn sought treatment specific to Lyme disease, which led her to the Sierra Integrative Medical Center in Reno, Nev.
While her new treatment is promising, it will not be cheap. She needs to raise $30,000 to pay for the cost of the medical procedures she will undergo in March.
A benefit has been organized to raise funds. It will be a huge parking lot party from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday at Cities Bar in Crystal River. Events will include live music, drawings, silent auction, food trucks, corn hole and beer pong tournaments.
Special to the Chronicle
Tyler Vaughn, who is fighting Lyme disease, holds her son Eli recently in Crystal River. A fundraiser has been organized to help pay for Vaughn’s medical treatment. She keeps an eye out for Eli, since it’s possible he may develop the tick-borne illness as well.