A vacation in Greece may have been the factor that left an English woman in debilitating pain.
While in Kos, Greece, with her family in 2013, Sam Philpott ate a "significant amount" of unpasteurized goat's cheese in sandwiches, on pizzas and as part of salads.
A few weeks later, she experienced a number of troubling symptoms, such as constant vomiting and nausea, migraines, intense weakness, fevers, exhaustion and crippling pain. Three years later, she is barely able to walk.
"Who knew that unpasteurized cheese, that is delicious and has brought me much momentary happiness, could cause the mind numbing and wanting to end my life type of pain that I have been suffering with," she said, reports the Mirror. "With each mouthful, to my unfortunate complete lack of knowledge and utter surprise, I was ingesting the bacteria that has led to my being bedridden."
Philpott is receiving intravenous therapy treatment at Sponaugle Wellness Institute in Oldsmar, Florida, a facility with an "incredible" success rate for treating patients with Lyme disease, which Philpott also has, as said on the family’s GoFundMe page.
The clinic recommends patients with Lyme disease be diagnosed within six months for the clinic’s regular treatment to be effective. The 22-year-old has had health problems for six years.
In 2010, she was bitten by a tick while in Weimar, California, and developed Lyme disease, which caused intense joint pain, nausea, anxiety, depression and poor concentration. By 2012, she needed a walking frame. Her 51-year-old mother became her full-time caregiver.
"At the clinic, they have said she is one of the worst patients they have seen, in terms of how far her illness has progressed," said Joe Philpott, the young woman’s older brother. "It's a kick in the teeth, but she has faith they'll be able to help. She just wants to go back to studying and get her life back."
Sam is receiving medication for both brucellosis and Lyme disease, as her symptoms match both conditions.
"Doctors believe that she more than likely contracted brucellosis the summer she was in Kos -- so they think it is linked to eating cheese," Joe explained.
Philpott lamented that brucellosis can have serious consequences if left untreated for a long period of time.
"The bacteria has not only taken my ability to live a normal functioning life, but my bubbly spirit," she said.