Therasia Jennings and her daughter Faith who suffer from a Lyme like disease.
Therasia Jennings and her daughter Faith who suffer from a Lyme like disease. Scott Powick

Help local Lyme sufferers get help overseas

AN ONLINE funding campaign has been set up so Pottsville mum and daughter, Therasia Jennings and Faith Jennings-McKay, can seek treatment in Malaysia for their Lyme disease.

As reported by the Tweed Daily News in January, Therasia, 48, and Faith, 11, believe they contracted Lyme disease when they were bitten by ticks on a family camping trip in August 2010.

Since then they have experienced numerous and constant debilitating symptoms and pain preventing them from participating in normal life.

The dilemma for the pair, and an estimated 200,000 other Australians who believe they have Lyme disease, is that it is not officially recognised to exist in this country by our health authorities.

Germany is recognised as the gold standard for treatment of Lyme disease with a reputation for success in treating long-term sufferers.

But at a cost of $140,000 it’s beyond the family’s means.

However the Jennings have now set their hopes on a German-trained doctor who has set up a Lyme treatment clinic in Malaysia, offering the same treatment at a much smaller cost.

Friends of the family have created a Go Fund Me campaign, to help them raise money for the treatment.

“It has taken a long time for me to get to this point,” Ms Jennings said.

“We have been talking about it for 12 months, but I let my pride get in the way.

“My friends said ‘You know Therasia, people want to help’, but I just couldn’t do it. I just felt there were other people worse off than me.”

But Ms Jennings said both her and Faith’s ongoing health issues were becoming too exhausting to continue on with their current treatment regime, which includes daily supplements, antibiotics and acupuncture.

“Once I slowed down on my treatment... I had quite severe nervous symptoms causing me to have shaking fits, and once Faith stops treatment, she starts deteriorating as well,” Ms Jennings said.

“You just get tired of the constant round of symptoms; every day there is either pain, nausea, headaches or skin problems, kidney problems, liver problems, bowel problems, brain fog, fatigue, every day.... it just goes on and you just get tireder and tireder.”

Therasia Jennings and daughter Faith at Pottsville.
Therasia Jennings and daughter Faith at Pottsville. Scott Powick

The treatment in Malaysia, known as hyperthermia, will involve heating their bodies to a temperature of 42 Celsius for at least 5 hours, under a light anaesthetic, as a means to force the body to fight the bacteria.

“The high temperature isn’t conducive for the bacteria to survive and it also stimulates your own immune system to fight the infection as well,” Ms Jennings said.

They fly out for their first treatment on June 10 with their second treatment set for July 15, 2016.

Ms Jennings is planning to establish her own treatment for local sufferers once she is well enough.

  • The online fund is at www.gofundme.com/faith-therasia


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