The story is familiar, but no less heartbreaking.
Excerpted from an article by Kirsti Marohn [ SCTIMES.COM ( Posted: 04/07/2010 )]
For Elizabeth Fadling, hope took the form of a small Cessna jet parked on a cloudy Tuesday morning at St. Cloud Regional Airport.
Crossing the tarmac took only a minute, in a wheelchair with her 2-year-old daughter in her lap, clutching a well-worn blanket. But Fadling’s journey to this point has been a lifetime of pain and heartbreak.
The 31-year-old Little Falls woman has late-stage Lyme disease that has ravaged her body since 1985, when at age 5 she was bitten by a tick during a family vacation to Pennsylvania.
For years, doctors misdiagnosed her severe stomach pain, chronic headaches and brain swelling. She was told she had rheumatoid arthritis, lymphoma or that the symptoms were in her head.
“That’s been kind of my whole life,” she said. “Nobody could ever give me an answer.”
But thanks to the local charity Wings of Mercy, which arranges medical flights for people in financial need, Fadling and her daughter are bound for New York for potentially life-saving treatment.
Fadling and her husband welcomed Paige, their “miracle baby,” in 2007 after two miscarriages. Afterward, Fadling’s symptoms worsened, and she was finally diagnosed last year with Lyme disease.
Housebound and confined to a wheelchair, Fadling suffers from seizures, muscle spasms, joint and muscle pain, dizziness and night sweats. She’s too weak to stand for more than a few minutes.
Once a top student and spelling bee champion, Fadling now suffers from dyslexia and bouts of dementia. She once drove off with Paige, then couldn’t remember where she was going or how to get home. She no longer can drive or cook.
Then Paige began having muscle spasms and pains, and Fadling’s worst fears were confirmed. The disease apparently had passed from mother to child during pregnancy.
“The first time I saw a motor tic, it was like having your heart ripped out of your chest,” Fadling said.
“I know how painful it is, and you can’t explain to a 2-year-old why.”
Fadling said she’d heard of cases of children with severe Lyme disease who progressively worsened until they lost the ability to function, and she didn’t want that for her daughter…
For the full story: http://www.sctimes.com/article/20100407/NEWS01/104070013/1009/news01