Melissa and Levi – Orangevale, CA

LymeLight Foundation Congenital Lyme Story for Melissa And Levi

Levi began running unexplained high fevers at age two. A year later, his mother Melissa became very ill as well. After several years of unexplained symptoms, Melissa was introduced to a Lyme-literate doctor who diagnosed her with Lyme disease. They realized that the Lyme likely came from a tick bite Melissa incurred before Levi was born. She decided to have Levi tested to see if he had contracted Lyme congenitally. The IGeneX labs for Levi came back positive for Lyme disease and he started two months of treatment.

In 2013, Melissa’s health took a sharp decline and her family of four moved to be closer to family who could help with the kids while she went in for daily antibiotic infusions. At this time, Levi was doing pretty well, and his care took a backseat while Melissa was in serious need of treatment. After moving into a rental home, Levi developed acute viral-like infections with fevers one after another. Being a general contractor, Levi’s father was able to inspect their rental home and discovered severe mold growth behind the walls.

Then in 2014, Levi was bitten by a tick. He was immediately treated with two antibiotics but within months Levi fell acutely symptomatic to the disease. Having missed so much school from being out sick he was placed on “home and hospital studies.” Now Levi’s treatment, in addition to Melissa’s treatment, had become the priority for the family. They found a Lyme literate doctor who treated children and had Levi retested. The tests were positive for Lyme, Babesia, Bartonella and Anaplasmosis. He started treatment with broad spectrum antibiotics, herbal supplements, and homeopathic remedies for detoxification purposes.

By this time, Melissa had a PICC line placed for regular IV treatment and the family had to hire a part time caregiver to help with childcare when she was too sick to take care of them herself. This added financial burden, on top of treating two family members for Lyme, became overwhelming. At this point, they reached out for help from LymeLight Foundation.

A LymeLight grant helped Levi see the appropriate doctors and follow a treatment plan without having to prioritize treatment based on cost. Today, years later, Levi’s Lyme disease is in remission, and he has won awards for playing on a volleyball team, as well as participating in theatrical productions. Levi is a leader of volunteers at his church who meet weekly.

Melissa is feeling much better today too. Melissa’s message for other mothers who may be struggling is to, “Keep up hope.”

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