A tick bite robbed her of the health of Love and the happy life she had known.
Just five weeks after Co Fermanagh's woman spent the weekend camping in the Scottish Highlands, she suddenly became paralyzed and passed out when she tried to stand up.
Emma dragged herself to bed hoping it was just the flu but the tragic helplessness in her legs was the first symptom of potentially deadly Lyme disease – and worse to follow.
Unknown to Emma, she was bitten by a flea that sent a terrible bacterial infection into her bloodstream and three years later, it was in her brain.
Without an accurate diagnosis for three years, he has suffered from a series of debilitating and often frightening symptoms, not only changing in intensity but coming and going without patterns.
But now Emma knows that most likely she has lost the chance to recover completely, but finally she has a diagnosis that has given her the path to treatment.
Emma said: "I suddenly became unwell a few weeks after we camped in the Highlands in Scotland in 2016. I camped with my partner Ryan. We had a great holiday, but little did we know how much I had to pay for pleasure this little.
"One day when I stood up and my legs gave up and I fell to the floor. I have no strength in my legs and even though I gradually return, I feel numb, pins and needles and weakness in my left leg.
"I thought about going back to that weekend in the highlands and remembering it to be very happy and carefree, but it had ruined my health and life.
"I underwent many tests including brain and spinal MRI, blood tests and neurological examinations.
"I quit after a week and don't advise anyone who honestly knows what's wrong with me. I had to visit neurology as an outpatient.
"Then I can't use my left arm, it's not safe for me to be alone. I burned myself and would not feel a burn on my left arm until it was too late. I can't get in and out of the bathroom or even make my own tea.
"I was tested for all types including MS and my symptoms continued to get worse.
"Every month I develop new symptoms or pain and have many tests, non-invasive and invasive including many MRIs, nerve conduction studies and lumbar punctures.
"I was diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorders, migraines, trapped nerves, fibromyalgia, costochondritis, trochantitis, inflammation of the ribs and pelvic joints.
Despite the best efforts of the NHS, it was only when Emma's great aunt mentioned the possibility of Lyme disease taking photos suddenly becoming clearer.
Home-spun research reveals that each symptom can be linked to Lyme disease and extensive tests by private specialists prove that her aunt is right.
Emma said: "My mother researched the best laboratory to complete the Lyme disease test and it was completed in Germany and one week later the results were entered.
"They showed that I was suffering from chronic Lyme disease or Lyme Neuroborreliosis which meant that this bacteria had stuck to my brain. Plus, I have co-infection and a very depressed immune system.
"So after three years of suffering I now have an answer.
"Since then I have followed every possible route to get the care I need at the NHS but due to lack of recognition and resources in Northern Ireland, the available options have not provided an answer.
"The first priority for my family and myself is that I recover because three years of my life have been lost due to unexplained illness and misdiagnosis.
"So we have no choice but to be private once again but with my family who have run out of money to pay for personal promises, I have to ask for help.
"I haven't been able to work for two years now because of this terrible disease. I really want this treatment so I can get better, go back to work and live the normal life of a 29-year-old child.
"I have been sick since I was 26 and I feel I have lost so much, this disease has eliminated several years of my life and now I know what causes the disease, I want to treat it and get better.
"It's scary because if Chronic Lyme disease is left untreated, it can cause death. Right now I already have all the symptoms of the disease besides heart problems, so I want to be treated as soon as possible.
"Now we have found a private specialist and by following his treatment plan, the patient reports back to extraordinary full health.
"This appointment is expensive and he treats it using western medicine and alternative medicine. So it will be a long-term treatment plan that is included in treatment for up to two years. "
Now Emma, a former student at the University of West of Scotland in Paisley, hopes that long-term and large doses of antibiotics can help her get a little life.
He explained: "There are days when the most I can do is lie on the couch and hug my dog. I was in pain all the time, I was tired. My memory is terrible, my concentration is very bad and I feel decrepit. I have problems with the full left side of my body and have constant weakness in my left arm, leg and neck.
"I just want to get my life back. I was very busy and happy and full of life and pleasure.
"I have my first appointment with a specialist in February that can't come fast enough. It will be a long process but there is light at the end of the tunnel for once in the last few years."
Emma's life in Scotland began with high hopes in 2010 and she completed my BA Hons in Tourism and Event Management
He said: "After I graduated I lived in Glasgow and got a job at NHS 24 and found I really enjoyed helping people. I never thought for that I should ask for help for myself, or chronic pain especially before I reach the age of 30. "
Emma had to quit her job and life in Scotland and move home to Enniskillen two years ago to become closer to family.
He must give up his job and freedom and rely on his girlfriend Ryan to become his nanny.
He said: "Ryan has stuck with me but our lives have really changed. I am not the person who used to be, Ryan had to leave his job in insurance and take care of me and he took a part time job at KFC and he needed it to get some rest from taking care of me all day.
"I can't turn back time and I am determined to get as good as I can but I need help."
This means undergoing long-term heavy-duty antibiotics to try to control the bacteria in his brain.
And initially it will cost thousands and so far Emma has collected £ 2,300 and needs and another £ 2,000 to pay for the appointment.
Emma said: "I can't believe I'm in this position asking for donations to help me get my life back, I want to go back to being the person I was – or be as close as possible."
If you want to help Emma achieve her treatment goals, you can click here.
The 88 reported symptoms of Lyme disease:
- Hair loss
- Chronic fatigue
- Headache, mild, severe or migraine
- Pressure on the head
- Twitches on facial or other muscles
- Facial paralysis
- Tingling in the nose, tip of the tongue, cheeks or reddened face
- Neck stiffness or pain
- Jaw pain or stiffness
- Tooth problem
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Double or blurred vision
- Increased floating point
- Pain in the eyes or swelling
- Sensitivity to light
- Flashing lights / edge waves / ghost images in the corner of the eye
- Hearing loss
- Buzzing in the ears
- More sensitive to sound
- Ring in one or both ears
- An irritable bladder
- Interstitial cystitis
- Stomach ache
- Acid reflux
- Bone pain
- Joint pain / swelling,
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Joint, back, neck stiffness
- Muscle aches or cramps,
- Shortness of breath, unable to get full / satisfying breath, cough
- Chest pain or rib pain
- Night sweats
- Shiver that can't be explained
- Heart palpitations
- Burning or piercing sensations in the body
- Fatigue, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,
- Weakness, peripheral neuropathy
- Partial paralysis
- Numbness in the body, tingling, pinpricks
- Poor balance, dizzy, difficult to walk
- Mood swings
- Unusual depression
- Disorientation – feeling lost or lost
- Feel like losing your mind
- Emotional overreaction
- Too much sleep
- Trouble falling or falling asleep
- Sleep apnea
- Panic attack
- Memory loss
- Difficulty with concentration
- Difficulty speaking – slurred, slow or stuttering
- Loss of sex drive
- Menstrual pain, irregularity
- Breast pain, vaginal discharge
- Testicular or pelvic pain
- Ghost smell
- An increase or decrease in body weight that cannot be explained
- Extreme fatigue
- Swollen glands / lymph nodes
- An unexplained fever
- Continuous infection – sinus, kidney, eye
- Migration pain
- Flu-like illness
- Low body temperature
- Allergy / chemical sensitivity
- Increased effects of alcohol
- Depression and anxiety
- Mobility problems
- Brain fog
- Chronic sore throat
- Body temperature is not regulated
- Low B12, low vitamin D, low folic acid
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