Man, 33, bed bound for more than a year after being bitten by ticks

Lorraine: Dr Hilary discusses symptoms of Lyme disease

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A previously fit and active young man has been left unable to walk or feed himself after being bitten by ticks four years ago. Noah Greaves, 33, has been bed bound in his parent’s living room for more than a year due to Lyme disease. He believes he suffered the bites while working outdoors in Scotland as an ecologist.

The then 29-year-old started feeling unwell in 2019 when he experienced tremors and bodily weakness which meant he was unable to feed himself.

He visited a GP surgery and told them he had been bitten by a large number of ticks, saying he thought he might have Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is the result of the bite of an infected tick, and if left untreated, it can spread to joints, the heart and the nervous system.

However, doctors prescribed Noah, who was living in Inverness at the time with antibiotics and referred him to a neurologist.

He then had a neurological examination, a series of tests for other conditions and a lumbar puncture which led to him being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) – a diagnosis Noah and his family believe is wrong.

Noah explained how he went to a private doctor who carried out a test that is not offered by the NHS, which confirmed he had Lyme disease.

Since then his symptoms worsened, leaving him bed bound at his parents’ home in West Yorkshire.

But Noah and his family believe that going on a course of intravenous antibiotics will help reduce his tremors and he may be able to walk and stand unaided again and are hoping to raise £40,000 in donations for private treatment.

Noah said: “The NHS does offer the intravenous treatment, but they won’t offer it until they’ve got a positive Lyme disease test.

“But I’ve got MS in their opinion, which is why I have to go private: the NHS are unwilling to accept the Lyme disease diagnosis.

“The NHS has been so good on the whole though – they have been phenomenal in every sort of care.

“They have provided my bed, my walker, a physiotherapist who comes and tries to help me regain some mobility.

“I don’t have a life, I’m just in bed all day. That’s my life now, I just watch TV.”

Noah and his family believe the dangers of being bitten by a tick are not discussed enough, and that if it had been mentioned to Noah, he might have “been more careful”.

His mum Sarah Greaves, 62, said: “When Noah was up there working , I don’t think enough emphasis was put on the importance of reducing tick bites and how it can affect your life.

“I think it would be good if we can raise as much awareness as we can for other people so if they do think that they’ve had a tick bite, they go and get it investigated. The sooner that you do it, the better the chances are that you won’t have any long-term effects.”

An NHS Highlands spokesman said: “Due to patient confidentiality, we are unable to comment on individual patients’ circumstances.

“We are very sorry the patient is unhappy with the treatment and care he has received and would encourage him to get in touch with us so we can discuss this with him directly.”

Symptoms of Lyme disease include:

  • A circular or oval shaped rash around the bite
  • A high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
  • Headaches
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Tiredness and loss of energy.

If you think you have Lyme disease you should see a GP as soon as possible.

To donate to Noah’s crowdfunder, visit:

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