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Orpington woman fundraising for specialist treatment after catching Lyme disease

PUBLISHED: 10:51 01 May 2013 | UPDATED: 10:51 01 May 2013

A woman suffering from a debilitating disease is raising thousands of pounds to "get her life back" with specialist treatment in Germany.

Louise Dean, formely of Orpington, caught Lyme disease while on holiday in France in 2011 and has been unable to work for more than a year.

The infection, which is spread by tick bites, starts off with fever, headaches and fatigue but can lead to problems with joints, the heart and nervous system if left untreated.

Louise, 28, now needs help to deal with the pain in her joints and chronic exhaustion, which has forced her to leave her home and move in with her boyfriend in Ilford, east London.

She added: “I had to move in with my boyfriend last February when I got so ill I couldn’t look after myself.”

She was previously studying towards being a therapist but stopped when her illness worsened.

Louise hopes to continue with the qualification after treatment because the disease has only made her more “passionate” about the work.

She said: “I want to help other chronically ill people to cope with the everyday challenges of being sick, as well as the enormity of what’s happened to them.”

Because of medical disputes over the ongoing impact of Lyme disease and recommended treatment, only limited courses of antibiotics are offered by the NHS.

According to the NHS website, the illness can be difficult to diagnose because many symptoms are similar to other conditions.

Louise hopes private treatment at a specialist centre in Germany will be the answer.

She said: “With their help there’s a good chance I could be fully well again and get my life back.”

To raise the £4,000 needed for travel, accommodation, tests and treatment, Louise is planning fundraising events including a car boot sale and central London treasure hunt. She is also joining other Lyme disease sufferers to hold a protest outside the Department of Health next week for improved training, testing and treatment for the illness.

Donate towards Louise’s treatment at www.indiegogo.com/projects/louise-s-lyme-disease-treatment-fund.

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