Help Save Alinta's Life

By Alinta McMurdo

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Alinta was bitten by a tick at 10 years old

She is now 29 and severely ill. She has been diagnosed with Late Stage Neurological Lyme Disease and Bartonella infection. Both are multisystemic bacterial infections. The government in Australia won't allow treatment for these illnesses so she must go overseas. As her mother, I have shed many tears at her plight and my only wish is for her to have a chance at a healthy life. Despite being so ill, she cares for death row dogs and dreams of being able to help those living in poverty, and fix the environment. She was studying conservation and international development but her health deteriorated and she was unable to continue attending university. She has written the following few paragraphs:

My symptoms are severe and extensive.

I don't have the energy to go into them all in detail. I need over 12 hours of sleep a day (often 18 hours) but I still wake up just as tired as when I went to sleep. Daily I have to fight exhaustion until my body gives up and collapses. Any physical or emotional output takes many days or weeks to recover from. Some days I have to choose between showering or eating as I don't have the energy for both. I have numerous prescriptions for pain killers, but I still have constant excruciating pain all over my body. My muscles frequently spasm, shake and jerk. Joint hypermobility has caused a lot of dislocations and painful bursitis in my hips. Most days I cycle through severe sweating and shaking as I am unable to control my temperature. My heart and lungs are showing signs of infection too. At times I struggle to breathe and my heart rate is very high and blood pressure low. I have constant stomach pain and nausea, and I often vomit, leading to weight loss. I have been diagnosed with Gastritis and IBS resulting in a lot of intestinal pain and upset. I have gone through bladder biopsies and botox injections to combat bladder pain and incontinence. The specialists say that my body is attacking itself as it can't recognise the bacteria. I have been diagnosed with Grave's Disease and Sjogren's Syndrome, and I have been told to expect more autoimmune conditions if this infection isn't controlled. My immune system is weak; even a basic cold can set me back months.

Along with pain and fatigue, cognitive dysfunction is one of the more debilitating symptoms. All my thoughts are obscured by a thick fog. I struggle to think, and I forget even basic words. I have a wheelchair to get around shopping centres and need help with even simple chores. I recently had an episode where I experienced bronchial spasms and couldn't breathe. I lost my hearing and vision, collapsed on the ground and experienced paralysis. I don't want to go through that again, but the only way to ensure that doesn't happen is to treat the infections.

But there's hope

There's a clinic in Cyprus which offers a combination of Ozone Therapy and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), to kill the bacteria and give my immune system the boost it needs to get rid of this infection for good. The results of others who have gone and returned are extremely positive, but it's long, expensive, and on the other side of the world. As someone living week to week on a disability pension, I simply can't afford the costs myself. I need to take a carer who'll look after me when I'm not at the clinic. However, the treatment isn't cheap, and the airfares, accommodation, and the cost for the 6 weeks of treatment all add up. This is not a holiday, I'll be spending all day Monday to Friday in the clinic, and my weekends will mostly be spent sleeping while my body recovers. When I return home, the recovery will be long and difficult. I will have to go through rehabilitation to build up the muscles that have wasted away for years.

Every donation no matter how small gets me closer to Cyprus, good health and a life.

So any amount you can give means the world to me. I know not everyone is able to donate, but please share my story. Prolonged severe illness means I don't have a big social network, please lend me yours, and help save my life.

Before YouCaring shut down, my fundraiser there had raised $5000. Flights, accomodation and the deposit for treatment have been paid, but the majority of treatment still needs to be paid for. Treatment is booked for October, less than two months away, so funds need to be raised urgently.

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Alinta McMurdo