An invisible disease in women caused by insect bites that leaves them exhausted and in pain

India Matthews has shared how she was backpacking in Southeast Asia when she was bitten by an insect in Thailand. After feeling uncomfortable, it took me a year and a half to figure out what was going on

India Matthew's was bitten by an insect in Thailand
India Matthews was bitten by an insect in Thailand

A woman has told how she is battling a debilitating disease caused by a bug bite in Thailand that took 18 months to diagnose.

India Matthews was backpacking around Southeast Asia when she fell ill and it wasn’t until a year and a half later that she was diagnosed with Lyme disease.

Now her boyfriend Nathaniel Pells will go to her home in Bath from his home in Leeds to raise money for her treatment, she reported LeedsLive.

The couple met while backpacking in 2016 when India was 18 and she was bitten by an insect at a restaurant in Thailand, sparking her Lyme disease nightmare.

Beginning May 16, Nathaniel will walk an average of 28.5 miles a day from Alwoodley for seven days to reach India’s 200-mile home.

It took her a year and a half to find the cause of her symptoms. Image from a photo agency


Getty Images/Collection Mix: Themes RF)

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted to humans by infected ticks and is usually easier to treat when caught early.

India, now 24, tried to keep going when she started suffering from fatigue, a stiff neck and a fever, but gradually she got worse. She suffered from blurry and blurry vision, seizures, sleep paralysis, sensitivity to noise and bright light.

She sought treatment in hospitals in Vietnam, Singapore, Bali and Japan but found no cause and similarly doctors in England also drew a blank.

It was only a year and a half later that she was diagnosed with Lyme disease in a clinic in Germany.

India said: “I’ve been sick for over six years, I got sick when I was 18 and now I’m 24. It’s been downhill for the last two weeks, it’s killing me. I have struggled with my symptoms. I can’t do everything people my age do. I’m very good looking, I’m going to meet people and they don’t know I’m sick.”

Nathaniel felt that a sponsored walk would be the ideal way to raise money for her treatment.

He said: “I’m from Leeds and she’s from Bath, we’ve always had a long-distance relationship [relationship] and we always joked about the distance.

“She joked and said I wish you could go down to my place. We had a joke that it would be fun to go that far, so I decided to do something original to raise money.

“I thought I would put into perspective how she feels on long walks, if she has to walk a mile it can tire her out for the rest of the day.”

The fundraising page explains: “Over the years, India has spent many hours and nights in the emergency room due to the intensity of her symptoms. She also suffered from pancreatitis and developed several autoimmune diseases, including daily orthostatic hypotension (extremely low blood pressure), not to mention her mental health, which of course took a major hit.

“India is unable to participate in most ‘normal’ activities and daily tasks that most 24-year-olds can do without thinking. She feels unwell every time she drinks alcohol, her symptoms flare up massively when she sleeps poorly, a brisk 10-minute walk could put her in bed for a week with a severe headache and headache.

“Any type of transport makes her distant and dizzy, she has to be careful about the food she eats and she can’t focus on things for too long as it causes weird visual and head symptoms (that makes working, staring at you computers, driving and extensive reading incredibly challenging).

“Six years later, India would claim it is 60% better. Although many may not know or recognize it because she looks ‘fine’, she nevertheless suffers from a wide range of neurological, autonomic, digestive, cardiac and fatigue symptoms on a daily basis.”

click here to visit the fundraising page.

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