AN IRISH woman has made an urgent plea to raise funds for medical treatment to keep her alive.
Denise Ryan, 33 and originally from Dublin, contracted Lyme Disease from a tick bite in 2011 and was formally diagnosed with the condition in 2014.
Because Ms Ryan went so long without a diagnosis and without treatment, she now has debilitating gastrointestinal problems caused by the infections, along with a family history of autoimmunity and her condition has now progressed to a life threatening state.
Writing on her donation page 10,000 Tenners, she said: "I have severe gastroparesis, arthritis, severe osteoporosis, exhaustion and muscle wasting.
"I've also developed neurological symptoms as the Lyme bacteria has spread to my central nervous system.
"Without being able to absorb proper nutrition, my immune system can't fight the disease and my body can't rebuild itself."
Ms Ryan is completely reliant on her medical treatment in Seattle to keep her alive and needs to raise €100,000 to go to the city for 10 months of specialist treatment as soon as possible.
She is facing total intestinal failure if she can’t afford to continue her medication and return to the U.S. for surgery, and without the treatment her prognosis is terminal.
Appearing on Dublin photoblog Humans of Dublin, Ms Ryan discussed the 'what ifs' of life, primarily if she can't continue her medication.
She said: “We all live with ‘what if’s’. They can be the hardest part. What if I’d gotten that job, what if I’d admitted I liked that person, what if I’d studied harder, what if I’d stayed in Ireland, what if I’d left? What if I had taken that chance?
"My life is different now. It’s full of health ‘what if’s’. Like what if I had done that test, or taken that medication or had that surgery.
"Because when you have to travel to get medical treatment, you can’t afford to do everything you need to do.
"So you have to choose and try to deal with not knowing if the thing you couldn’t afford to do could’ve been the thing that saved your life.
"My biggest ‘what if’ is what if I can’t raise the funds to continue my medication and to try the things I didn’t get to try, will I die?
"That’s not an easy ‘what if’ to think about. We have to remember that we’re human. We’re doing our best and not let the what if’s get in the way of trying. We have to keep going.”