A MUM-OF-THREE with Lyme disease from Swindon who struggles with day-to-day tasks as her organs slowly fail refuses to give up her fight to fund special treatment

Joanne Baskett from Park South has suffered from the untreated illness for decades and is often bedbound in agony and cannot eat because her bowel, bladder, stomach and gall bladder have all stopped working properly.

The 44-year-old has experienced co-infections and cancerous HPV lesions since her mid-20s.

She said: "I try to be hopeful and stay positive because I have my children and I have to fight for them - if I didn't have them, I wouldn't be here at all - but it's can be quite miserable and lonely, it's existing but not living.

"Normal parental duties that other people do easily and take for granted are really difficult for me and going anywhere takes a lot of organisation and effort. If I push myself too far, I have to sit in a darkened room and can't communicate for a while.

"My house has become dirty because I'm too ill to clean and haven't been able to get social care support."

Since being bitten by an insect in America over 20 years ago and then by a tick in 2009 while she was in her garden, Joanne has suffered symptoms like nausea, fevers and chronic pain to kidney infections and arthritis.

She received a confirmed diagnosis for Lyme disease in 2016.

Joanne successfully raised enough money to see a doctor in Ireland and get medication which can treat the disease - but gastrointestinal issues stop her from ingesting the liquefied pills.

She added: "I can't keep food down, I'm losing a lot of weight,, and I throw up anything more than a few milligrams, so I can't digest the new meds and I feel like I'm in limbo.

Joanne's friends have rallied round her in a bid to pay for a £26,000 Infusio stem cell therapy program which would restore her immune system and combat the debilitating effects of the disease, but the fundraising total has stalled well short of the target.

She told the Mirror: "I didn’t have just one strain of Lyme like most people, I had four. I had been bitten and infected with Lyme at least three times.

“I tested positive for your strains of Lyme and seven infections caused by Lyme. Two were from America, probably picked up when I was in Connecticut in 1993.

“I feel absolutely devastated. Angry isn’t the right word, I would say heartbroken, that my whole life didn’t turn out the way I expected it to, and all because of a tick."

Official figures show around 1,000 people have Lyme disease in the UK but Lyme sufferers believe the true number is somewhere between 15,000 to 30,000.

The disease can cause heart failure, paralysis and immune system damage. To donate, visit gofundme.com/lymeactuallyjoanne