http://www.hartlepooltoday.co.uk/ViewAr ... ID=1345684>
Help is needed to curb deadly illness
ISABELLA Radestock was the life and soul of the party before illness
But in 1998 she contracted Lyme disease after being bitten by an
infected tick in trees near Grants Houses, next to Easington
It caused irreparable damage to her vital organs and she died three
days before Christmas, after a seven-year battle with the mysterious
Now her daughter Gillian Devine has vowed raise awareness about the
disease. Gillian said she wanted people to be more aware of a
disease which is hard to spot because it can imtitate other
She also praised health workers who were a ``massive'' help to her
The illness left Isabella, who was fondly known as `Beldy', in
constant pain. She was unable to walk around her home, and it
wreaked havoc upon her eyesight and digestive system.
In an interview with the Mail before she died, Isabella said: "I've
lost my back teeth because of it and now my other teeth are turning
black. I have vomiting bouts every few days, diarrhoea, night
sweats, hallucinations and it feels as if every bone in my body is
"I've got nodules on my hands and some days they turn blue as if
rigor mortis has set in. I'm completely poisoned throughout my
system." Gillian, of The Spinney in Easington Village, explained how
Isabella, a grandmother-of-one, had also suffered from a number of
other health problems as well as Lyme disease.
She battled against chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic
encephalomyelitis (ME). Later, the results of tests carried out in
America proved positive for Borreliosis (Lymes disease), said
By then it was the summer of 2001 and Isabella was admitted to
hospital for treatment.
But her health continued to deteriorate and in 2003 she developed
pneumonia and then breast cancer, said Gillian.
She added: "They diagnosed her with breast cancer in October and
they operated in the November. They gave her a double mastectomy.
Then the Lyme disease got worse."
Isabella had to have a Hickman line inserted into her chest to pump
antibiotics straight into her heart to treat the Lyme disease, said
And at the same time she was undergoing chemotherapy and
radiotherapy. Then, at the beginning of December of last year,
Isabella was given the all-clear for the breast cancer.
But the good news was short-lived.
Gillian said: "On December 18 I took her Christmas shopping and the
next morning she was at the top of the stairs and I thought she'd
had a stroke. She didn't know who I was and she was disorientated.
"The doctors came out and didn't know what was wrong with her. She
Isabella was taken into hospital where she went into a coma and
Stephanie Woodcock, chairwoman of Lyme Disease Action, said: "There
are about 500 confirmed cases of Lyme disease every year, but
official figures admit this could be an underestimate because of all
the cases that go undiagnosed. It can imitate any other disease or
"Awareness inside the medical profession needs to be raised because
Lyme disease can be cured if it is treated quickly with
Gillian said: "My mam's GP, Doctor Gupta, and the district nurses
were a massive help. Throughout all her illness, she never got
depressed, never got down.
``She was such a bubbly person, she was the life and soul of the
party. She used to be there for all of us, she was very caring and
she used to try to please everybody. She would go to the other end
of the world to get something for you if you needed it.
"But I hope that by publicising my mam's death it will raise
awareness about the disease" l For more information about
LymeDisease, go to: www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk
`Awareness needs to be raised because the disease can be cured if it
is treated quickly'
24-hour Hartlepool and District Hospice Helpline - (01429) 855558.