Amy and Juneau – Apollo, PA

LymeLight Foundation Congenital Lyme Story for Amy And JuneauAmy lived in a highly endemic area in the Northeast when she was young, and her family did as much prevention as possible. When she was bitten by a tick at six years old, her mom was a nurse and recognized the bullseye rash. She was treated with a short course of antibiotics at that time. However, after college and nearly two decades of strange symptoms, she sought out a Lyme literate physician who confirmed her symptoms were caused by Lyme disease (now a chronic condition) as well as several co-infections.

When Amy was ready to get pregnant, she met with the Lyme-literate doctor and came up with a plan. Amy would stay on supplements and antibiotics throughout her pregnancy and at the time of birth, samples from her cord blood and placenta would be sent to the lab to make sure that the Lyme and her co-infections were not transferred to her baby.

When her son Juneau was born the cord blood tested positive for the Lyme bacteria but not the co-infections. For Amy, this was confirmation that she had passed Lyme to Juneau.

The doctor advised waiting until he was a little older to start treatment. And after a tick bite at age two, they discovered that Juneau had been infected with Babesia as well. He had drenching sweats at night and during daytime naps. Juneau started taking antibiotics and supplements at that time.

Unfortunately, Amy found her own Lyme symptoms coming back around the time Juneau was four-years-old. Her photography business was suffering between her disabling infections and being a caregiver to her sick son. They moved back in with her mother to cut down expenses and were receiving food stamps. Amy had no idea how they would afford the treatment they both needed.

A LymeLight grant helped them get Juneau to get back to the LLMD and get the necessary testing to uncover specific strains of Bartonella that he was fighting. They got him back on a full protocol of antibiotics and supplements. “We currently have peeled away and crushed a few co-infections but still have more to accomplish,” Amy explains. “Having this disease since age six myself, I know how important it is to try to clear the ‘bugs’ before they do permanent damage.”

Amy hopes expectant mothers with Lyme disease, learn that they can pass on the Lyme infection to their child. It is so important to make this information available and then to be proactive with testing and treatment after the baby is born. She is confident that although Juneau was born with limitations, with our treatment and knowledge, he will become healthy and be “like a normal kid”.

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