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Susan Couch: URGENT Medical Crowdrise Fund

Organized by: Susan Couch

Susan's Photo

THE STORY:

Susan Couch is a 34 year old woman, the mother of a six-year-old boy, both of whom suffer from Lyme disease — her husband having left them — presently living in socially-isolated conditions in southeastern Kentucky, in severe daily physical pain, without medical care or a telephone, medications for pain management, and severely destitute due to prolonged illness. Her only income is her child’s disability and food stamps. Susan is in urgent need of funds to travel to see an LLMD, funds to pay the consulting fee, funds for specialty lab testing for co-infections, and likely for medication. She also needs funds to help pay for food and other miscellaneous expenses for herself and her son. Her only form of insurance is Obamacare, which LLMDs do not accept. Her six-year old son is assumed to have been infected at birth. Due to serious antibiotic allergies, he must be treated through herbal therapies. Son with ADD/ADHD. Before becoming too ill to work, Susan was financially independent through her job as a long-haul trucker, and supported herself, her husband and her son. Now she struggles just to get out of bed. Due to her impoverishment, she cannot afford to even travel to local physicians. Susan was evicted from her home, and now lives in low income housing having lost most of what she owned. HISTORY OF PRESENT SYMPTOMS Susan’s symptoms are predominately neurological, particularly chronic severe head pain with predominate white matter lesions on brain scan. She has a Bell’s palsy, seizures, and left-sided numbness. She recently lost 60 pounds due to worsening of her symptoms, has no appetite, and suffers severe insomnia. She suffers excruciating migraine headaches that may last for days, once hospitalized for six days for migraine — feels head is going to explode. The medications she is currently prescribed for migraine do not work (Topamax, Toradol, Imitrex), and the earliest appointment for a pain specialist in her area is December 2015. In the past she has made a suicide attempt, which landed her in a psychiatric hospital. “I used to pray to die.” She admits to passive suicidal ideation. Sits at home in tears, hopeless. She dates the onset of her symptoms to over ten years ago, although she was well enough for a time to work in her job as a long-haul trucker. PAST TREATMENT FOR TICK-BORNE DISEASE Susan reports doctors in Kentucky say Lyme doesn’t exist there, and she describes the quality of medical care there as generally poor. Approximately eighteen months ago, she drove from Kentucky to Indiana see a Nurse Practitioner in Gary, Indiana. The nurse tested ONLY for Lyme disease, which resulted in a CDC-POSITIVE test though Igenex. Yet Kentucky doctors will not treat her. The nurse did NOT test for any co-infections, and gave Susan only oral antibiotics for Lyme disease. When Susan did not respond to the one-month trial of oral antibiotics, the nurse cut off treatment, denying Susan’s request for a PICC line. For continued care, the nurse told Susan she must return to Indiana and pay the $200 fee. But Susan has exhausted all savings. Over time, Susan’s symptoms have worsened. Susan states she has seen 30+ doctors of different specialties -- neurologists, cardiologists, rheumatologists, and others. She was told she may have “AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE,” she said — specifically MS due to her abnormal brain MRI scan showing white matter lesions, but her spinal tap showed no evidence for MS. Her lupus test was negative. She is interested in trying THC oil for therapy. SOCIAL SECURITY Susan has been turned down twice for social security disability benefits. She states that her lawyer does not understand Lyme disease, nor does the SSA office. THE SEARCH FOR A LYME DISEASE PRACTITIONER Travel itinerary. All roads to a physician treating Lyme disease lead out of Lexington, KY. Travel to a physician treating Lyme disease requires Susan to first travel from London, KY to Lexington, KY. How to get from London to Lexington? Greyhound operates a bus station approximately 5 miles from Susan’s home that travels to Lexington, KY. [taxi fare 5 miles] Once in Lexington, transit options are: (1) an AIRPORT [taxi route 9 miles]; (2) TWO SEPARATE BUS terminals —Greyhound —Megabus.com [taxi route 4 miles] Air transportation. Blue Grass Airport (4000 Terminal Dr., Lexington, KY 40510; tel. (859) 425-3100) is located an 1.5 hrs. from London, KY with NONSTOP flights to Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Punta Gorda/Ft MyersTampa Bay, and Washington, DC — serviced by American, United, U.S. Airways, Delta, and Allegiant carriers. Bus transportation. (1) Greyhound operates a bus service 7 days a week from London, KY to Lexington, KY departing from 380 Shopping Center Rd, London, KY 40741; tel. (606) 864-2040 — arriving at WJW Investments, LLC, 477 W New Circle Rd NW, Lexington, KY 40511; Main: (859) 299-0428; Greyhound Package Express: (859) 299-0428; Customer Service: (859) 299-8804. Greyhound EXPRESS ROUTES exist from Lexington to Atlanta, Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit, Knoxville, Marietta, and Memphis. Other connections are possible. https://www.greyhound.com/en/locations/terminal.aspx?city=390490 https://www.greyhound.com/Express/WhereWeGo.aspx https://www.greyhound.com/en/routesandservices/default.aspx (2) Megabus.com operates an EXPRESS SERVICE from the Lextran Transit Center, 220 East Vine St., Lexington, KY with departures to Atlanta, Cincinnati, Chattanooga, and Knoxville — connecting to Columbus, Erie, and Buffalo. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexington_Transit_Center https://us.megabus.com/routemap.aspx https://us.megabus.com/BusStops.aspx No Amtrak connections are available from Lexington, KY. http://www.amtrak.com/ccurl/631/638/SystemMapMar2015.pdf

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Susan Couch

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