When Lyme Kills


Illustration by Anuj Shrestha

When Lyme Kills

The extremely rare complication you should know about

This story is part of “Tickpocalypse,” a multi-part special report.

Joseph Elone just felt tired at first, like he wasn’t sleeping well. Soon, however, Joseph developed cold symptoms — a cough, a sore throat, head and body aches, digestive problems, and a low-grade fever.

The doctor saw little reason for concern. Joseph likely had the flu, he said. He prescribed the standard regimen — rest, fluids, and the like — and suggested they give it time.

But a few days later, Joseph’s symptoms worsened. He was feeling light-headed and said he was sensitive to bright light. He returned to the same doctor, who ordered blood tests for strep throat, Lyme disease, and another tick-borne illness called anaplasmosis. The results were all negative.

It would take at least four months and several incorrect diagnoses to determine the cause of Joseph’s death, but ultimately, examinations revealed the presence of Lyme bacteria in several of his organs, including his heart.

(See link for entire article)

This story is part of “Tickpocalypse,” a multi-part special report.



Well, if this isn’t heartbreaking, I don’t know what is.

There are numerous points that should be mentioned:

  1. The media, researchers, and doctors need to refrain from the word “RARE” on pretty much anything regarding tick-borne illness. Notice out of one side of his mouth, the author states the same year Elone died, the CDC released a report of three other deaths related to Lyme, “which led to further inquiries that uncovered numerous additional instances in New York state…leading experts to wonder if Lyme deaths might actually be more common than previously thought.”  Then, out of the other side of his mouth he announces with certainty that it’s rare. This is illogical and undermines the seriousness of this. All I can say is Zika was handled very differently.
  2. Please take note that spirochetes riddled his body. They were all over. How many dead bodies have to pile up before the CDC/IDSA/NIH believe Lyme is serious and that those with persistent symptoms just might be chronically infected, with spirochetes riddling our bodies? Instead, we have bone-heads saying we have MUS (medically unexplained symptoms), which essentially means he believes we are psychosomatic:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/06/11/dr-eugene-shapiro-medically-unexplained-symptoms/  Video of Shapiro stating he believes our symptoms are completely unrelated to Lyme, i.e. – MUS. He also states the parents weren’t happy with his findings….gee, I wonder why?
  3. Again, regarding only 20% of patients being in the PTLDS group: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/02/25/medical-stalemate-what-causes-continuing-symptoms-after-lyme-treatment/, microbiologist Holly Ahern states that number is incorrect and only includes those patients diagnosed and treated early. When you add the 10-20% in this category with the 30-40% NOT diagnosed and treated, you get a whopping potential 60% of ALL patients who go on to develop chronic/persistent symptoms.  This is HUGE and downplayed. Little to no research exists on this patient group and yet they are in the majority.
  4. If you want to take a peek at the number of people DYING from Lyme: http://whatislyme.com/rip-lyme-friends-memorial/  Collected by Lyme patient and advocate Lisa Hilton, she’s also made a chart and listing of Lyme deaths: http://whatislyme.com/is-lyme-disease-fatal/, based upon 219 Lyme deaths.  
Is that still considered rare?