By Mick Jensen
ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) sufferer Nikki Tyrrell has made “significant” improvement relative to where she was and is grateful to the fundraising efforts of the local and wider communities that helped her get to a clinic in Cyprus for treatment.
A variety concert and auction were held locally earlier this year and, alongside a Givealittle campaign, helped raise $40,000 towards the cost of the trip. The rest was funded by her family.
Ms Tyrrell spent seven months at the clinic, instead of the anticipated three months, because of the severity of her condition.
‘‘Going to Cyprus was a last resort for me because I had tried everything and I was not getting better.’’
She has been seriously ill for over 20 years and spends a lot of her time in bed suffering with ME and Lyme disease.
She can’t tolerate most medications, and everyday things like perfume can trigger seizures, on top of usual pain and insomnia.
The Cyprus clinic offered a wraparound care package and ozone therapy.
The primary treatment involved taking blood, filtering it, and putting it through ozone under hyperbaric pressure and putting it back in the body again.
That was done three times a week and every other day Ms Tyrrell received ozone and other treatments.
‘‘From the point where I came from, to where I am now, the treatment has made a ‘significant’ impact on my health.
‘‘Improvements came incrementally and enabled me to do a bit more each day.
‘‘I was able to start walking without a wheelchair, do some dishes, talk a bit more and better tolerate stimulants around me like noise.’’
Ms Tyrrell said there was still a long way to go on her health recovery journey and experts had suggested at least three to five years for her nervous system, brain and immune system to heal.
She still fights occasional infections, which put back her progress, but had had no seizures since returning home.
‘‘The Cyprus trip helped me ‘get going again’ and I’m so grateful and humbled by the support I received for it.
‘‘For a long time I hardly left the house or spoke to people, but now I am slowly doing more, and can walk around the block, which is fantastic.’’
A major setback for Ms Tyrrell was a recent electrical fire that destroyed an expensive hyperbaric chamber that she uses at home for two hours every day.
She is using a pricey, hired chamber, which is less powerful, and means more time needs to be spent in it.
Her treatment continues to be a combination of the chamber, detox modalities, ozone treatment at home and IV’s.
‘‘I am a battler and I have a high pain threshold and I will continue to take life week by week and month by month.’’