A FUNDRAISER at Club Narooma this Friday night has become part of a desperate effort to save the life of Tuross Lyme disease sufferer Troy Stever.
Troy has suffered from tick-borne Lyme disease for 16-years, but because the Australian government does not acknowledge a link between Lyme disease and Australian ticks, he was undiagnosed and without proper treatment for many years.
Friday night’s auction/karaoke event at Club Narooma is part of an effort to raise $30,000 for Troy to attend an eight-week intensive medical program conducted by an Australian doctor in Bali.
The treatment, a type of blood cleansing dialysis, is reported to have a 95 per cent success rate.
With three weeks to go until the treatment is scheduled to begin, Troy remains hopeful.
Leaving a career with Ancestral Treks behind, the 44-year-old has not been able to work for more than 12 months and endures a personal physical hell every day.
Over the past two years Troy’s health has rapidly declined to the point where he no longer has the strength to hold his children, Kaila (13), Nathan (12) and Deitter (six).
Troy’s wife Melissa has shown incredible strength and resilience over the years and she says her children cannot recall what it is like to have a healthy dad.
Troy suffers from chronic pain, bacteria bloated belly, severe swelling of the spine and brain, tremors, and is entering the first stage of renal failure.
Early symptoms of Lyme disease caused by tick bites may include fever, headache, fatigue, depression and a rash. Without early treatment the joints, heart and central nervous system may be affected. Delayed or inadequate treatment can lead to the more serious symptoms, which can be debilitating and difficult to treat.
Antibiotics may be sufficient treatment if the disease is caught early enough, but Troy’s illness was not diagnosed for 15-years and a recent 40-week long course of Doxycycline has not cured him but has taken its toll on his body.
Tests performed on Troy’s blood in Australia were negative for Lyme disease, but a sample sent to the USA a year ago gave a positive result.
He blames this inconsistency on inadequate testing methods in Australian laboratories and wants everyone to be aware of the risks.
“There could be many people on the south coast who have Lyme disease and wouldn’t even realise it,” Troy said.
Melissa said she had been overwhelmed by the support the family has received so far and was extremely grateful.
A Facebook fund has been set up to raise funds to support Troy’s treatment, and donations can be made on Facebook at TroySteverLymeDiseaseFund, at the Commonwealth Bank in Narooma, and at various local businesses.