A mother-of-three was left paralysed and forced to eat through a straw after she was bitten by a tick in her garden,
Rachel Foulkes-Davies, 43, was bitten on the neck and a few days later her lip went numb and her face drooped on one side.
She was sent home from hospital after being treated for Bell’s palsy with a course of steroids. However, she failed to recover and slowly lost her ability to speak over the next seven months.
Ms Foulkes-Davies, who has since been diagnosed with Lyme disease, had to wear an eye patch and was unable to feel a twitch in her eye for six months.
She eventually regained her speech but she still suffers with brain fog and constant headaches – and has to wear sunglasses to watch the TV.
The former daycare coordinator from Denbighshire in North Wales, said: “I’m now frightened to go out in my garden.
MOST POPULAR TODAY ON YAHOO
- Terrifying footage shows police chase drug criminals who sped at 80mph in a 30mph zone
- Great-grandad, 64, wearing flat cap asked to leave Tesco because headwear was ‘against company policy’
- Pictures of the week: Paradise, plastic and Pahoa
- The gratest! Death-defying competitors battle to become Cheese Rolling champion 2018
- Learner drivers are now allowed on motorways: Everything you need to know
“The facial paralysis started with my lip going numb a few days after the bite.
“My kids didn’t realise the severity of it and would try and make me say words like ‘bumblebee’ but I just couldn’t.
“Then over the course of seven to eight months my ability to speak worsened.
“I couldn’t talk for two years I was just living off a soups and stews and had to have them through a straw. The same went for hot drinks.
“My eye didn’t close properly on its own until after Christmas. I lived in sunglasses. It was a very slow process and I had to use eye drops constantly and still do. It’s been very upsetting.
“It’s like having the worst hangover in the world as all you want to do is lie down.
“I would collapse on the sofa after work having looked after dementia patients for eight and a half hours without a break. I was drained.”
Ms Foulkes-Davies was bitten when sitting in her garden in June 2015, and noticed a red mark on her neck at 2.30pm.
Later that evening she noticed the bite had swollen to the size of a 2p coin and had turned white.
Three days later her lip turned numb and the next day she started to lose movement in the left side of her face – a sign of facial paralysis.
She attended Deeside NHS hospital when she couldn’t close her eye properly and was given an eye patch and sent home within hours.
For nearly three years, she has suffered from chronic fatigue and depression while also looking after her children Jessica, 19, Callum, 12 and Cieran, 8.
She eventually gave up work in December 2017.
Despite the devastating toll on her day to day life the NHS have continuously ruled out Lyme disease as a diagnosis.
She was diagnosed with Lyme disease privately last May.
She said: “I’m very self conscious. My daughter is unable to work as she has to take care of me. Doing the school run and the dinner takes it out of me.”