Thoughts with Bryce's family, friends, all those that knew and loved him.♡♡♡
The below segment of Bryce's story was on the Time To Recognise Lyme Clock presented at the Senate Inquiry hearing in Brisbane in April 2016.
Bryce was a very active young man who had a wide circle of friends and participated in a variety of sports from a young age - soccer, cricket, football, and surf club. By 14 he had an intense passion for body boarding, and surfed at every chance he could. Life changed in December 2009 when he collapsed. He was 19. Countless visits to doctors and hospitals, numerous tests and re-examinations and a plethora of treatments but none of these investigations provided a satisfactory.
Bryce’s mental state started to deteriorate a few weeks before his 25th birthday. He gradually became really down, very discouraged and anxious. He had been sick for six long years – one fifth of his life - and he’d started to doubt he would ever get better. On 17 November 2015, after years of illness, Bryce chose to end his suffering on his own terms.
Bryce's journey with Lyme is expanded on with words from his Mum, Michelle, below. Some extra information can also be seen in the article: The Brutal Bite of a Hidden Illness in Australia - Lyme Disease
I cannot possibly imagine how hard it is to lose a child, a much loved member of your family and a wonderful human being. Sincere condolences and huge thanks to Michelle and all of Bryce's family and friends for continuing to fight on for awareness and recognition in his name, despite their own tremendous personal loss . ~Karen
Bryce was a very active young man who had a wide circle of friends and participated in a variety of sports from a young age - soccer, cricket, football, and surf club.
Body boarding began to dominate his life at about the age of 14; his passion for body boarding was very intense. He went surfing every chance he got - before school, after school, all weekend. All other sports were forgotten, as he had truly found his calling. He spent a lot of time at the beach and in the ocean. He travelled far and wide in search of the illusive waves, sometimes sleeping in the dunes waiting for first light to enter the water. It was in pursuing this joyful activity, while spending time in coastal areas, that Bryce was exposed to numerous tick bites. His Mother, Michelle took a number of ticks off him over the years.
His initial collapse, in December 2009, was followed by countless visits to doctors and hospitals, numerous tests and re-examinations and a plethora of treatments but none of these investigations provided a satisfactory explanation or remedy for his persistent condition.
After about two years of fruitless visits to doctors and other health practitioners, he became very disillusioned with the medical fraternity and he took the healing of his body onto himself. Food became his medicine as he found that diet plays a huge role in health and making the immune system as healthy as it could be. His quest for knowledge grew and set him on a course of action. First dairy free, vegetarian, fruitarian, then vegan and then pescatarian (which is the addition of fish to his diet) a result of a Genealogy DNA test he initiated himself.
Bryce eventually found a Lyme literate doctor in March 2014. Finally, in August 2014, DNA tests confirmed his doctor’s clinical diagnosis that Bryce was infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochetal bacteria that cause Lyme disease and other co-infections – Mycoplasma species. Bryce underwent a treatment involving a combination of antibiotics. He turned out to be sulphur intolerant and his digestive system suffered dramatically. After almost a year, he came off the treatment. He continued to seek treatment to find a cure and resume his life.
His insatiable quest for knowledge, exploring nutrition and various diets and following up every lead to trial possible treatments was legendary and has left an enduring legacy for family and friends.
He was under the care of two practitioners in the last year of his life. Despite Bryce’s quest for answers, trying numerous drugs and physical therapies, none of the avenues he explored yielded a solution that would stop the excruciating nerve pain he continued to experience and was unable to escape.
Bryce’s mental state started to deteriorate a few weeks before his 25th birthday . He gradually became really down, very discouraged and anxious. He had been sick for six long years – one fifth of his life - and he’d started to doubt he would ever get better.
On 15 November, having not driven for five years, Bryce got into a car and drove for two days, far away from his home. Then he did what he needed to do to end his unendurable pain and anguish.
Bryce was a young man who fought a courageous battle and inspired his family and friends along the way. He took his life under his own terms because he had endured enough: his relentless chronic pain wore him down and something had to give.
On 17 November 2015, Bryce passed away at the age of 25 years, after six long years of painful suffering. Lyme disease robbed Bryce of six crucial years of his life, and Lyme-induced Depression ultimately claimed it.
Bryce’s entire family is devastated by his passing, and the suffering he endured. Bryce’s parents, his sister, Grandma, Nanna, all his uncles, aunts, cousins and friends know first-hand the pain and suffering endured by Lyme-like disease patients and their families. No one should have to suffer this way, not the patients and not the families who have to stand by helplessly while our government and medical community fail to act on their ‘duty of care’.