Thailand tick bites turns Coast teacher's life upside down
AMY Kennedy left Australia on holidays three years ago a healthy, young woman, and returned home incubating a debilitating and potentially fatal disease.
The Sunshine Coast schoolteacher has been diagnosed with Lyme disease, a bacterial infection transmitted by tick bite.
Friends and family are rallying around the previously vibrant young woman, trying to raise $100,000 for her to undergo life-changing treatment overseas.
Amy became sick after a trip to Thailand and suspects she was bitten by a tick during a jungle visit.
Her health gradually deteriorated from an initial rash, severe vomiting, and flu-like symptoms, to a palsy-like paralysis of the face before she was diagnosed.
She now see-saws between migraines, chronic fatigue, stiff joints, slurred speech, and sporadic paralysis on the left side of her face and tongue.
It's a far cry from 10 years ago, when she won a medal at the national surf life saving titles.
Diagnosis and accessing available treatments in Australia has cost Amy and her family $58,000 so far.
The Australian Medical Association does not recognise Lyme disease in Australia.
Is Lyme disease in Australia?
This poll ended on 27 July 2015.
Yes, they're covering it up
Yes, but the medical fraternity has been slow to react
No, but it something that we should be testing for
No, the science is in and the doctors know what they're doing
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Amy's mother, Michelle, said she hoped the overseas treatment would allow her daughter to resume the happy, active life she once led.
"When she's really sick, I have to do everything for her. It's very, very difficult to watch as a mum."
To contribute to Amy's treatment, go to gofundme.com/amykennedy/