Help Erica Fight Chronic Lyme Disease

by Paul Valker

Personal campaign Keep it all Bristol, WI, US

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. At this time we are longer requesting and accepting donations. We appreciate your continued support. Please send cards or letters to:
Erica Valker
11829 218th Avenue
Bristol WI 53104
See the whole story

Extended time! Our deadline has passed but you can still help.

$15,427

62% raised of $25k goal

147

Contributors

UPDATED May 3, 2014

Hello All, 

Its been a while since we've updated the followers of Erica's story and so much has happened over the past year. Through many conversations we've gathered that even our closest friends and family don't really KNOW what we are going through. They havent truly seen how sick Erica is unless they see her in person. Even then it is hard to grasp how our lives have changed and how diffiecult things have become over the past couple years.

To show the reality of what Lyme Disease can do, we have just posted a dramatic compilation of videos from our experiences over the past 2-3 years. The video is VERY graphic so please dont watch with children present. You can view it on Youtube here: http://youtu.be/Q9uiIMrZRmo

The latest updates are not filled with a lot of positivity, unfortunately. On 4/24 Erica had surgery to install her 3rd port, a hickman catheter line to her heart. This will allow her to recieve IV fluids daily, supplements, and eventualy antibiotics. Her recovery from the surgery alone has been a massive challenge.

It is crazy to think about but after two years we FINALLY feel like we have the right team of doctors that can get her strong again. The past year has been a road of dissapointing experiences with incompetent doctors and unprepared emergency rooms that have done more harm than good. We now have two doctors in Orange County CA, one in San Diego, and the pioneer of Lyme disease treatment protocol in Washington DC on her team. These doctors have acknowledged that Erica is one of the most severely affliced and most complicated cases of Lyme in the US. Frankly, this is the end of line for Erica...if these docs can't get it right then we arent sure if anyone can. We are pleased that for the first tme in over a year, Erica is on a protocol designed to make her strong again and systematically build up her immune system so her body can begin to fight the infections and heal itself. But she has only just begun so time will tell.

As of today Erica is in bed nearly 24/7 and in a walker when she is able to get up and move around. She recently learned that she has many different parasites in her system including Lyme, bartonella, babesia, rickettsia, flatworm, roundworm and microplasms. These coinfections have devastated her body by attacking her vital organs. Erica recently had work done on her heart as it was deteched that it was operating at about 5-10% output of where it should be. This was the Phonocardiogram shown in the video and we hope this will hold up for her over time. We will certainly keep you posted of her progress. 

How can you help?

As you can imagine the medical bills are a drain on our finances so we are asking you to share Erica's video and story with your networks so we can raise more funds. We estimate that we will need at least $100,000 to cover her treatments over the next 6-12 months. For those that have donated to us in the past we thank you and only ask that you help spread more awareness. Please do not dontate twice, you've done enough and we know times are tough for others too. 

Just as important as fundraising is raising awareness of the Lyme disease epidemic so please continue to spread the word with your friends and family. We are trying to help as many others as we can to avoid what we've gone through.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Please send cards or donations to:


Erica Valker
2101 Huntington St, Apt B
Huntington Beach CA 92648

Paul, Erica, and Char

__________________________________________________________________

May 1, 2013

Dear Friends & Family,

You are now probably aware of the challenges my lovely wife Erica has been facing with her battle with Chronic Lyme Disease. We need your help and are very humbled to even ask. Erica’s medical bills have skyrocketed and look to cost at least another $25K, on top of tens of thousands we’ve already thrown at seeking a cure. We are hoping that friends and family that have the means to do so will make a small donation to Erica’s health fund.

Erica’s Story
After years of mystery illnesses dating back to early childhood, multiple trips to various hospitals over the past 6-7 years, a fierce “head pressure” affliction in May 2012 that forced her into the hospital, and 15 additional unproductive visits with the “best doctors” in Los Angeles and Chicago, it was determined that Erica has late stage Chronic Lyme Disease with multiple co-infections. Yes, Lyme disease from a tick or other infection carrying parasite. We don’t know where or when she was bitten or even really how she acquired the disease but suspect she has had it for a very long time. On top of the Lyme infection, she has co-infections Babesia and Bartonella, which are two additional parasites attacking her immune system and vital organs.

Her symptoms are severe and debilitating, ranging from head pressure, extreme fatigue, light sensitivity, headaches, stomach pains, sharp stabbing pains in her head, feet, and hands, muscle twitching, tremors, heart palpitations, a slew of stomach and gastro issues, speech impairment, and seizures, for which she has been hospitalized three times. For a while she was having mostly bad days with some “good days” sprinkled in but those good days have ceased. Her immune system is depleted, her vital organs are now affected, and she’s now having trouble taking care of herself on a day to day basis and doing simple things like driving to the store. Needless to say she’s got it bad.

The only thing harder to deal with than the disease itself is finding a doctor to treat Lyme. Prior to her clinical diagnosis, we saw around 15 doctors that said she a spinal fluid leak, had Lupus, Crohns, migraines, it was in her head, or they didn’t see anything wrong with her. Most doctors wanted nothing to do with us. Finally we found a doctor that treats Lyme disease but does it in hiding so she doesn’t get sued by Blue Cross or worse, arrested and stripped of her license. Until recently, Erica’s treatment consisted of a combination of six oral antibiotics and one through an IV, which is administered through a port implanted in her chest with a central line to her heart. We deliver IV antibiotics and change her needles at home (which I have the displeasure of administering) because insurance declined the care. Erica was been told that treatment will last 1-3 years and she’ll get worse before she gets better.

In early April, her antibiotic treatments caused an infection and forced her back into the hospital, where she hung by a thread for a week. It was a close call. She’s back home now but her GP said we must cease the previous treatment plan and find a new way to treat her. Which obviously sucks since our options were pretty much zero to begin with.

We have visits to several new doctors lined up but because we have few options, we are preparing to embark on experimental treatments using a lower dose antibiotic in conjunction with IV supplements, and most importantly, hyperbaric oxygen treatments. Needless to say, insurance won’t cover these treatments and they are very, very expensive. This is where we need the help of family and friends.

DONATIONS - ERICA’S HEALTH FUND
We really don’t feel right taking donations from friends and family but since so many have asked how they can help and we need the assistance, I have set up a medical fund to help us get out of a jam. The fund is in a bank account separate from our personal finances and will be used solely for Erica’s medical expenses. Any remaining funds will be paid forward to another Lyme sufferer in need or will be donated to one of the Lyme foundations. If you can contribute a couple bucks, you would be helping us tremendously. We know times are tough for many so if you can’t contribute right now, we love you any way. Our goal is to raise at least $25,000.

For those of you that can make a small contribution, you may use our Paypal link here (you don’t need a paypal account, just click the credit card icons):
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=AGB24CXKA7CA8

Paypal will retain about 3% of the funds so we are asking folks that have time to mail and actually still write checks to send funds to:

Erica Valker
2101 Huntington St, Apt B

Huntington Beach CA 92648


For those that would like to reach out, Erica has limited communication by phone, facebook, or email but feel free to reach out and hopefully she can get back to you soon. Please pray for Erica and keep her in your thoughts and I have no doubt she will get better as the world needs her smile.

About Lyme: http://lymedisease.org/lyme101/lyme_disease/lyme_disease.html

Lyme controversy: http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=80&Itemid=76

Lastly, if you have any family or friends that have a mystery illness that can’t be diagnosed or have been told they have Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Crohns, ALS, or MLS, please get them a high sensitivity test for Lyme. These ailments are frequently misdiagnosed with the real culprit often being Lyme. It might just save their life.

Thank you so much for your kindness and support,
Paul and Erica

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