Young mum’s pain, struck down with ’severe’ disease
A NOOSA mum who unknowingly had a rare and debilitating disease for months must now travel overseas with her young family for life-changing treatment.
Peregian Beach resident Samantha Hannay, 25, has been sick for months after returning from the United Kingdom with chest pain.
That was in November 2018 and her symptoms grew worse.
A year later she was unable to walk and put in hospital.
Following rehabilitation to allow her to walk again, she was eventually diagnosed with Lyme disease - a tick-borne virus that is not recognised in Australia.
Mrs Hannay, her husband Daniel have no choice but to relocate to Europe for treatment, which could take about six months.
The pair have a mortgage, a young daughter and Mrs Hannay can't work.
"It's been pretty s--- to be honest," Mrs Hannay said before apologising.
"My neurological symptoms are so severe. I get really bad numbness, bad muscle twitches, it's not safe for me to drive.
"I've had to stop working but luckily I have a family who help me out."
Good friend and fellow mum Brooke Mendes Dos Santos has taken it upon herself to help raise money for the Hannay family.
A GoFundMe page has been set-up by Mrs Mendes Dos Santos, which can be found at Help The Hannays, where more than $6000 has been raised by the loving community.
"She's got a massive heart, she's quite placid, always at ease, never loud. Everything she does is about her daughter," Mrs Mendes Dos Santos said.
"But not being able to look after Mila is the hardest part.
"It's taken a really big mental impact on her. She has her days when her spirits are up and she's really positive. Then days when she struggles just to get out of bed.
"It's almost like chemotherapy (the treatment) it's around six-months long but it can't be done in Australia."
While the Australian Government Department of Health is aware there are many experience debilitating symptoms, which may associate with tick-borne viruses, the concept of chronic Lyme disease is disputed and not accepted by most conventional medical practitioners.
"Unfortunately, Lyme disease is not something most GPs know what to look out for, and when it's left as long as mine, it's harder to treat," Mrs Hannay said.
"The illness itself is very hard, but the system makes it so much worse.
"I know the government is looking into an inquiry into tick-borne viruses but there is such a long way to go."