Hänellä alkoi äkillinen rintakipu + rytmihäiriöt. Hän meni tajuttomaksi ja joutui hengityskoneeseen + letkuruokintaan. Hän oli tajuttomana 2 viikkoa. Mel toipui, mutta jäi halvaantuneeksi vyötäröstä alaspäin ja hänen toinen silmänsä jäi sokeaksi.
Paralysed by a tick bite
by Shirley Henry
BBC News, Norwich
For archery champion Mel Clarke it appeared to be a case of just holding her nerve to achieve her goal.
When she arrived at the World Archery Championships in America in 2003, she was ranked second nationally at the sport and was one of the competition favourites.
Yet soon after the tournament began, the 23-year-old from Taverham, Norfolk, was no longer involved in a battle to win a medal - she was fighting for her life.
She explains: "One moment I was firing arrows really well... then within about 20 minutes I was unconscious."
Doctors feared she only had 24 hours to live as she lay connected to a life support machine, unable to breathe by herself.
Mel, who had prided herself on her physical and mental fitness, was now close to death.
And the trigger for this catastrophic turn of events? A bite from a tick.
Doctors believe the tiny insect had infected Mel with Lyme Disease, a potentially fatal bug which can also lead to arthritis, heart and nerve problems.
The disease is caused by a bacterium which is transmitted to humans by ticks that live on some animals.
But, with a show of determination and bravery honed in top-level competition, Mel has overcome the odds - and won a gold medal in the World Disabled Archery Championships in Italy this year.
In 2003, she had travelled to Poland, France and Turkey for archery championships.
But while on tour in New York that July, Mel said she quickly went from firing arrows to losing consciousness.
Mel recalls: "I suddenly got a pain in my chest and my right side, my heart started beating quickly.
"My coach pulled me out of the sun because it was really hot and that's all I can remember until I woke up in hospital a couple of weeks later."
Mel was unconscious in hospital for about two weeks. She awoke to find she could not do anything for herself.
"I was shocked that I was there... I was on a ventilator, I couldn't breathe for myself and I was being tube fed.
"It was so unexpected... I was well beforehand.
"They (doctors) said I'd never fire another arrow, I was really gutted because I'd gone out there shooting really really well."
But Mel, who took up archery when she was 16, vowed that she would find a way to fight back.
When it was time for Mel to return home, she was told by doctors that she had Lyme Disease.
And while she won her fight to survive, the infection has exacted a terrible price.
The disease has left Mel paralysed from the waist down and blind in one eye.
The disabilities come on top of an earlier arthritic condition called reflex sympathetic dystrophy, which has meant Mel used a wheelchair and crutches since she was 11.
Training for Beijing
When Mel felt well enough, she set herself a new challenge, to compete in the World Disabled Archery Championships in 2005.
But the terrifying memory of that fateful day in 2003 when she was taken ill at her last world championship still haunted her.
In September, she flew the flag for the British team and won a gold medal.
"It's been a two-year battle but I think it's made me stronger. Of course there are days when nothing seems to go right, but everyone has those don't they?" she said.
Mel holds 10 national able-bodied records and six International Paralympic World records.
She is now training for the Beijing Paralympics in 2008.
The disease was named after an America town where a cluster of cases occurred in 1975.
Ticks that live on animals such as mice and deer may carry the bacteria
The disease can be transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected tick
Early indicators of an infection may include prolonged flu-like symptoms
The infection can be treated with antibiotics.
Phone thief left me with five inch cut
Norwich Evening News, UK
By DAVID BALE
A world champion disabled archer was slashed in the face when she pulled her mobility car over to answer her mobile phone in broad daylight.
A thug reached through the window of Mel Clarke's car and attacked her before stealing her mobile phone.
Miss Clarke was left with a five-inch cut to her face, after the attack which happened at about 7.30pm on Monday, April 24, in Hellesdon Road, Earlham.
The 23-year-old, who is paralysed from the waist down and blind in her right eye, was so traumatised she was today still unsure whether her attacker used a knife or punched her with a ringed fist.
She had pulled down her car window because it was a hot night, and her attacker saw his chance to strike.
Miss Clarke lives with her parents in Nightingale Drive, Taverham, but because they were not at home she drove her specially adapted mobility car to her friends' house in Lakenham, where they telephoned for the police and paramedics.
They arrived to find her with a badly bruised face, covered in blood and deeply traumatised.
Miss Clarke, who is a teaching assistant at Bignold School, was still too upset to talk to the Evening News, but her mum Brenda Clarke, 54, said her daughter was obeying the law by pulling off the road on to a lay-by to answer the mobile.
Mrs Clarke, a teaching assistant at Nightingale School, said: ?She was doing what she is supposed to do by pulling off the road when your mobile rings, then this happens. Mel's still very traumatised, after all this happened when it was still light.?
Police spokeswoman Kristina Raines said: ?The car was parked and she was answering a call on her mobile phone when a man reached through her car window and snatched the phone from her hand, injuring her face in the process.
?The phone was a Sony Ericsson black and silver camera phone.?
Her attacker was a white man in his mid 20s, about 5ft 8in with short hair. He was wearing a dark-coloured hooded top with a small white motif.
Miss Raines said: ?Officers conducted house to house inquiries in the immediate area but would like to appeal to anyone who may have seen this incident or who has any information about it to come forward.?
As reported in the Evening News, Miss Clarke cemented her world number one disabled archery status by winning the gold medal in the women's compound bow class at the World Disabled Archery Championships in Massa, Italy, last year.
Last year, a community fund-raising campaign led by Norwich Proclaimers Church and Able Community Care raised £8,075 for Miss Clarke, which paid for her £5,000 wheelchair and for help in her preparations before the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.
Miss Clarke took up archery more than seven years ago. She has been in a wheelchair since the age of 11 having a form of arthritis called reflex sympathetic dystrophy.
She also contracted Lyme disease in July 2003, a disease which is often fatal and left her paralysed from the waist down and blind in the right eye.
She won gold at the European Disabled Archery Championships in Poland in 2002 and represented the full UK women's team in ...