As many of you know, our founder and spokesman John Caudwell has given regular television and newspaper interviews on the topic of Lyme disease. He found the courage to open up about the suffering that this disease has caused eleven members of his family. He has even shared the heartbreaking story of his son Rufus, who lost years of his life to the neurological effects that Lyme disease can have upon the brain.
The reason John and the Caudwell family did this was a motivation to help others. John has told his story over and over again in the hope that his warnings could reach more people and slowly start helping them.
He founded Caudwell LymeCo in 2016 to educate the public on Lyme disease, to raise money for Lyme disease research, and to campaign for a change in the attitude to Lyme disease among medical professionals and the NHS as an organisation.
When the charity’s mission began, we received hundreds of personal stories from people who had listened to our spokesman’s description of Lyme disease and realised he was talking about symptoms they had suffered for months or years, with no diagnosis. This has progressively exposed the scale of the suffering, but it has not ended it yet.
Slowly, the charity’s message seems to be having an effect. The new treatment guideline, which has clarified the diagnosis of Lyme disease for doctors, has also helped. People have started telling us success stories of getting diagnosis and treatment for Lyme disease early enough to be cured.
One of these people was Sophie Sherratt.
“My family visited Greece in July this year and, to cut a long story short, my two year old daughter contracted Lyme Disease,” Sophie wrote to us.
“It is strangely coincidental that the week my daughter developed the bullseye spots, John had been on Countryfile and on our local radio in Staffordshire. I will never forget watching Countryfile, on the verge of tears, realising what my daughter had. If it wasn’t for John Caudwell we would have been none the wiser.”
Sophie explained that her GP “thought the spots were mosquito bites – it was only when I mentioned Lyme Disease that he got his medical journal out.”
“That week our GP referred us to Royal Stoke and, sure enough, we got the diagnosis. Our GP admitted he had never come across a case of the disease before. After antibiotics, she seems fine and fingers crossed we caught it early.”
“Had it not been for John’s appearances on Countryfile and local radio I know for sure my daughter would not have been diagnosed and treated, because I would have assumed the marks were mosquito bites.”
We very much hope that with prompt diagnosis and treatment, Sophie’s daughter will not suffer any further symptoms. Perhaps equally important, Sophie has made sure she continued informing people about Lyme disease to increase awareness of the illness.
“Practically everyone I am friends with or work with now knows about Lyme disease,” Sophie told us, “so hopefully some small good will come out of a situation that was very stressful for my family and I.”
Our founder, John Caudwell, has made it his life’s mission to keep telling his story and warning others about Lyme disease. Sophie’s story proves that it is worthwhile.
To spread the message further, join our “1,000 Bracelet Challenge”, wear your Lyme green awareness band and start conversations about Lyme disease.