Lyme Lives Here

Doctors and lawmakers alike take a stand against this misunderstood disease permeating Southeastern Pennsylvania.

(page 14 of 15)

Her first doctor, West Chester’s Steven Burke, diagnosed the whole family. They left Burke for Corson after Sarah hit a plateau on the only antibiotics he’d order. Corson found an additional co-infection. “We knew she was the doctor who could get us to the next level,” Wagner says.

After Wagner organized a standing-room-only talk at her daughter’s school, she was flooded with more inquiries than her health allowed her to handle. She promised she’d do something about the crisis when she was better.

On antibiotics, her kids’ IQs have improved and their physical functioning is normal. Without treatment, “I can’t tell you how many times Sarah was wheeled out of school in a wheelchair because she suddenly couldn’t walk,” says Wagner.

Wagner relapsed in 2010, and needed another round of IV antibiotics. Insurance has partially paid for treatment—that is, when the Wagners have been able to keep up with the paperwork. They’ve spent an estimated $150,000 out of pocket. “[That’s] one child’s education,” says Wagner.

Wagner continues to work tirelessly to mobilize Lyme patients across the state. “[Without a diagnosis and treatment], my children would’ve had mandated educational services until they were 21,” she says. “That’s one example why the state should be more interested.”

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