A Virginia man is seeking legal action against the doctors who misdiagnosed him with ALS after test results revealed he actually had Lyme’s Disease.
After going for a hike in August 2013, entrepreneur and father Matt Slatner received tick bites that he believed almost from the beginning resulted in Lyme Disease, WWBT reports.
Slatner’s speech slowed down and he had trouble walking. Rashes developed on his body while headaches overwhelmed him. He couldn’t even move his arm.
"My right hand was bothering me," Slatner told WWBT. "And I said, 'Man, I'm feeling horrible. Real tired. I can't wake up.'"
Doctors kept misdiagnosing him, with conclusions ranging from eczema to panic attacks and a stroke.
"The whole time, everywhere we went, [we] brought the ticks up," Slatner said. "Everyone said no. They won't cause symptoms that manifest in this way."
Finally one day doctors sat the man down and told him they believe he had ALS.
ALS is an irreversible neurological disease that gradually causes the mind and body to deteriorate, Mayo Clinic reports. The illness can result in death.
"I said, 'Yeah, but what about those ticks?'" Slatner told WWBT. "He said, 'Enough's enough. The reality is, you have ALS, and you know, you really need to embrace what I am telling you.'"
Yet Slatner and his family continued researching Lyme Disease at home.
"Every single thing is Lyme symptoms," Matt’s wife, Stephanie Slatner, said. "No one would listen. I mean, they made us both feel like we were crazy."
That was until one fateful day after his family got sick, Matt visited an urgent care facility. There he received penicillin and began to feel better
"That Friday, I called the ALS doctor. 'Hey, guess what? I feel great!'" Slatner said.
Reluctantly the doctors then tested the man for Lyme Disease. Sure enough, the results proved Slatner was right all along. Now, Slatner is undergoing rounds of antibiotics with a different doctor. His treatment requires intensive IV therapies, costing tens of thousands of dollars. He will also have to pay for home support and therapy.
Now the family is seeking legal action against the medical professionals, saying that if Slatner's tick bite had been treated two years ago, he would not have lost a year of his life, along with thousands of dollars. Now Slater has many months, if not years, of recovery ahead of him.
They also seek to raise awareness of the disease to help avoid a future misdiagnosis for others.