Last hope for a healthy life Woman forced to look overseas for cure
AN Idalia woman suffering a crippling illness for more than a decade is spending more than $ 10,000 to travel overseas to treat her controversial condition which is not widely recognised in Australia. Jessica Lacaze has spent 12 years travelling interstate to see more than 30 doctors and specialists after she developed a mysterious chronic illness. “They kept telling me I was stressed or depressed but I wasn't either of those things,” Ms Lacaze said. “I honestly think they thought I was just in the too hard basket because they just didn’t know.” Ms Lacaze said she and her husband spent more than $ 60,000 on ineffective treatments and diagnoses until a breakthrough late last year. With the help of a German laboratory, she tested positive to Borrelia burgdorferi, the main causative agent of tick- borne Lyme disease. “When some people told me I should get tested for the bacteria, I thought it just couldn’t be me to have it,” Ms Lacaze said. “I just felt like something wasn’t right because I did everything every doctor ever told me to but I just kept getting worse.
“The only option is I got ( the bacteria) in Australia, because I had never been overseas before I got sick.”
In late 2015, the Senate Community Affairs References Committee was asked to inquire about “the growing evidence of an emerging tickborne disease that causes a Lyme- like illness”.
In November 2016, the committee’s final report found “potentially infectious pathogens are being transmitted by Australian ticks, and treatment for the ensuing illnesses is currently suboptimal”.
Twelve recommendations were handed down including that “the Australian Government allocate funding for research into medicallyappropriate treatment of tickborne disease”.
But with no formal commitment since, Ms Lacaze said she is being forced to seek treatment overseas.
In September, she is heading to the Y& C Institute of Medical Rehabilitation in Cyprus for four weeks of intensive ozone therapy that isn’t available in Australia.
The treatment will cost more than AUD$ 8251 on top of the travel costs.
“This is like a last- ditch effort for me because I have spent all my money before my diagnosis trying to find out what’s going on and on the wrong treatments,” she said.
“Even if I feel just 5 per cent better after the treatment it will be better than nothing.
“I just hope putting the story out there puts more pressure on the Federal Government to help so no one else has to go through what I’ve been through.”
To help with the costs of Ms Lacaze’s treatment, visit www. gofundme. com/ JessLyme
FEDERAL INACTION: Jessica Lacaze is heading overseas for treatment. JESSICA LACAZE