Windsor-Essex women get international treatment for Lyme disease
It's been a long journey for a pair of women from Windsor and LaSalle.
Both have received a diagnosis for Lyme disease and both travelled far and wide to seek treatment in other countries.
It takes it's called medical tourism - where people will travel great distances, to get the health care they need.
In May, Monique Hachey began treatment for Lyme disease at the Sponaugle Wellness Institute in Florida.
She's now back home and sharing her story.
“It's a chance that I'm willing to do, to make sure that I live to be with my kids,” says Hachey. “Six months away is better than a life-long away."
Today, Hachey is home for the holidays with her family.
"Dr. Sponaugle and his staff, they saved my life,” says Hachey. “They literally saved my life."
Her time in Florida was no vacation. Her treatment comprised of day-long sessions, saline fluids, phos and glut drips and a steady cocktail of antibiotics. She's currently on a 64-a-day pill regiment.
“I had some invasive treatments, very invasive treatments."
Now the bills are piling up, six months of treatment, cost Hachey $180,000 and counting.
But Hachey says she feels 80 per cent better and would do it all over again, if needed.
“Iit's going to be a whole new life,” she says. “I'm not going to know what feels like to be healthy again."
Her story is not unique. Though the treatments are considered controversial, thousands of Canadians are doing it.
Christina Mancina just returned home from two weeks of very intensive Lyme treatments in Germany.
“It's a grueling program,” says Mancina. “Two full body hyperthermia treatments."
For her troubles, $40,000 out of pocket.
“I come back and I feel a lot better,” says Mancina. “I'm not 100 per cent, but I have a lot more energy, less inflammations."
Both women sought treatment elsewhere because they say their Lyme diagnoses aren't recognized in Canada, a short-fall even Canada's chief public health officer agrees needs attention.
“It's clear that we need some research to get better tests, but they're difficult to interpret at best," says Dr. Gregory Taylor.
Lyme treatment is limited in Canada, but there are steps to change that.
Recently Bill C442 was passed in parliament, which will push Health Canada to implement strategies to diagnose and treat Lyme.