Healthy footballer left struggling to get out of bed after infected tick bite

Steven Williams was a fit, healthy 36-year-old in February 2021 who went to CrossFit, played football, and even played in a band.

However, in a matter of days, his whole life changed dramatically and even getting out of bed became a chore.

“I’ve never faced any kind of mental health issues before,” he said. “I suddenly started having very intense anxiety and panic attacks for no reason at all.

“Actually over the course of a few days, everything changed.

“I went to CrossFit class a week before and took eight months off work before exercising and getting fit and healthy.”

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Steven described the sudden change as “terrible”

Steven of Mesteg described the test as “terrible”.

His panic and anxiety attacks were so intense at the time that he was almost taken to A&E for treatment. Everyday chores like getting up, or washing and getting dressed were too heavy for him.

He also experiences extreme shaking, sometimes up to eighteen hours a day, sleeps only two hours, and has constant ringing in his ears.

“I almost lost my life in the summer, it was absolutely gruesome.”

Thankfully, Steven began seeking help immediately and his GP raised concerns about a suspected adrenal gland tumor or brain tumor.

He was sent for scans, however due to the ongoing pandemic and delays in the NHS, he decided to seek private medical treatment.

Fortunately and unfortunately, no tumors were found in Steven’s results.

They believe Steve was infected when he was walking his dog
They believe Steve was infected when he was walking his dog

Instead he was put on psychoactive drugs such as antidepressants, however, this made his symptoms worse.

“I was sent to London for a new treatment, ketamine therapy. I went to London about eight or nine times. It’s a really promising treatment for anxiety and depression, but it just wasn’t suitable for me.”

Thankfully, the doctor in charge of this therapy noticed an unusual reaction in Steven, having seen it in another patient before.

“He saw another patient react this way and he’s got Lyme disease, so he recommended that I get tested.”

Lyme disease is an infection caught by the bite of an infected tick, which Steven understood when suggested.

“I live in the valleys and I spent a lot of time during the lockdown in the mountains walking my dog.

“It made sense because there was nothing else to do. I felt like I was taking care of myself and was healthy.”

Steven was eventually diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease in November.

Once in the late stages, the infection can spread to the nervous system and cause swelling in the brain, which it has done for Steven.

He has since been placed under the supervision of a specialist doctor and a nutritionist, who have put him on a very restrictive diet to help stabilize his condition.

Alex, who set up a GoFundMe for Steven to seek treatment in Germany
Alex, who set up a GoFundMe for Steven to seek treatment in Germany

“It has helped me get back to work and start working again, but it’s not curative.”

There is currently no treatment available in the UK.

Steven’s hope of curing his late-stage Lyme disease is at a medical center in Germany.

It is a hypothermia treatment that works to kill all the bacteria that target the infection in the body along with the brain and ligaments.

He said: “They heat your core temperature to 43 degrees for six hours because bacteria can’t survive at that temperature.

“They give you antibiotics as well as intravenously to kill the bacteria. You’re there for about three to three and a half weeks, it’s pretty intense.”

However, the treatment comes at a high cost, which Steven is unable to afford after spending over £20,000 so far on private treatment.

His friend, Alex Donovan, took it upon himself to help fundraise for Steven’s treatment through a gofundme page.

Alex said: “He’s just the nicest person and he would never have done it himself.

“He’s never one to complain and he’s very polite about how much pain it has caused him.

“When he said how much the treatment would cost, and possibly looking at resale, I told him people would like to help.

“We are overwhelmed with support even from strangers, and I just said that if 30,000 people gave £1 each, they would not notice it but it would change everything.

She said: “If I had 30,000 pounds, I’d give it to him without hesitation, but it’s a small thing I can help.”

“I am overwhelmed by everyone’s love and support,” Steven said. “Even to complete strangers, it’s beyond just kind and I’m absolutely impressed by their kindness.”

If you would like to donate to Steven’s Cure, His GoFundMe can be found here.

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