A woman suffering from 'Lyme arthritis' was left with such severe pain in her knees when walking that she needed a wheelchair and hands that had to be surgically uncurled from a permanent fist — and still can't bend properly.
Meghan Bradshaw, 29, from Charlotte, North Carolina, has already had 16 joint replacements — including to both shoulders, knees, hips and ankles. She has also needed round-the-clock care for tasks like brushing her teeth or getting dressed.
It took doctors four years to diagnose her with arthritis sparked by tick-borne Lyme disease. About one in four patients suffer this form of the disease, experts say, which spawns when bacteria from the infection enters the joint tissue. It can lead to permanent damage if it is not treated quickly.