UNIONVILLE – A Connecticut community gathered to raise awareness for Lyme Disease and gather funds for a young boy suffering from the devastating effects of the illness.
Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Troy Murphy is so sick, he wasn’t able to attend his own fundraiser, a dinner at Scene Art Bar in Unionville where more than 150 tickets were sold at 20-dollars.
The 11-year-old has been battling Lyme Disease for eight months.
His mother, Alison Murphy, said he showed his first symptoms in January, which were flu-like: fever, sore throat, headache, and fatigue.
Doctors tested him for illnesses like mono and strep, but all tests came back negative. He was told it was viral, and he would improve.
Troy’s symptoms went away and returned six weeks later. After three emergency room visits, a hospital admittance and testing, he was diagnosed with Lyme Disease.
“He so far isn’t really responding to treatment,” Murphy said. “Now he can’t even walk, he can’t sit upright, he can’t hold his head up, he’s in a wheelchair, he’s bedridden.”
She says it’s heartbreaking to see her son like this because he was such an active kid. Now, she sees an impact on his personality.
“He’s kind of starting to give up hope because he just doesn’t think he’s ever gonna get better, the other day he said to me mommy I know I’m never gonna be able to run again,” she said.
Alison understands his pain because she too has been battling Lyme for five years. Her brother-in-law also has the tick borne disease.
According to the CDC more In 2014, 96 percent of confirmed Lyme disease cases were reported from 14 states including Connecticut.
Recent statistics estimate approximately 30,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year in Connecticut, according to the Department of Public Health.
“It's all over the place,” she said. “It's becoming a huge epidemic.”
Troy is scheduled to see a Lyme Disease specialist, but his medical bills come at a hefty cost.
“It's horrible, it's a very misunderstood disease,” Murphy said. “Insurance companies don’t cover a lot of the treatments.”
A Go-Fund-Me Page has been set up to help the family with medical costs: https://www.gofundme.com/troymurphy