Mother, 43, is left paralysed, unable to speak and forced to eat food through a straw after being bitten in her GARDEN by a tick

  • A mother was left paralysed and unable to speak after she was bitten by a tick
  • Rachel Foulkes-Davies, 43, was bitten on her neck but thought nothing of it
  • A few days later, however, her lip turned numb and her face started to droop
  • Despite being hospitalised she failed to recover and lost her ability to speak 

A mother was left paralysed, unable to speak and forced to eat through a straw after she was bitten in her garden by a tick.

Rachel Foulkes-Davies, 43, was attacked on her neck but thought nothing of it until a few days later when her lip turned numb and her face started to droop on one side.

Doctors originally thought she had Bell’s Palsy and sent her home with a course of prednisolone. However Ms Foulkes-Davies failed to recover and slowly lost her ability to speak over seven agonising months.

Mother left paralysed, unable to speak and eating through a straw after being bitten by a tick

The mother-of-three, who has since been diagnosed with Lyme Disease, had to wear an eye patch and was unable to feel a twitch in her eye for six months.

She eventually regained her speech but she still suffers with headaches and has to wear sunglasses to watch the TV. 

‘I’m frightened to go out in my garden’ 

The former day care coordinator from Denbighshire, North Wales, said: ‘I’m now frightened to go out in my garden.

‘The facial paralysis started with my lip going numb a few days after the bite.

‘My kids didn’t realise the severity of it and would try and make me say words like ‘bumblebee’ but I just couldn’t.

‘Then over the course of seven to eight months my ability to speak worsened.

‘I couldn’t talk for two years I was just living off a soups and stews and had to have them through a straw. The same went for hot drinks.

‘My eye didn’t close properly on its own until after Christmas. I lived in sunglasses. It was a very slow process and I had to use eye drops constantly and still do. It’s been very upsetting.

‘I’m constantly tired and have no energy to do simple tasks.

‘My face still droops when I’m tired or even if I can manage a wine and my eye twitches and squashes in when I eat. I’m very self conscious.

‘It’s like having the worst hangover in the world as all you want to do is lie down.

‘I would collapse on the sofa after work having looked after dementia patients for eight and a half hours without a break. I was drained.’

Rachel Foulkes-Davies was bitten on her neck but thought nothing of it until a few days later

Ms Foulkes-Davies was bitten while in her garden and noticed the red mark on her neck later

Devastating bite

Ms Foulkes-Davies was bitten when sitting in her garden in June 2015, and noticed the red mark on her neck at 2:30pm.

Later that evening she noticed the bite had swollen to the size of 2p coin and had turned white.

Three days later her lip turned numb and the next day she started to lose movement in the left side of her face – a sign of facial paralysis.

She attended Deeside NHS hospital when she couldn’t close her eye properly and was given an eye patch and sent home within hours.

The mum saw her ability to speak worsen over a seven month period leaving her unable to speak without having to lift the left side of her lip.

Ms Foulkes-Davies also had to pureee her food and was forced to eat through a straw as chewing would lead to her biting the side of her mouth causing it to bleed.

For nearly three years Ms Foulkes-Davies has suffered from chronic fatigue and depression while struggling to look after kids Jessica, 19, Callum, 12 and Cieran, 8.

She eventually gave up work in December 2017.

Despite the devastating toll on her day to day life the NHS have continuously ruled out Lyme Disease as a diagnosis.

She was given a course of antibiotics by doctors in February to aid her symptoms but has since been giving herself organic remedies chlorella and spirulina.

Rachel Foulkes-Davies with her ex-partner. She now requires her daughter to take care of her

Can’t afford treatment 

Frustrated with her Bells Palsy diagnosis Ms Foulkes-Davies forked out £89 on a private bioenergetic test in May, which diagnosed her with Lyme Disease.

‘My face still droops when I’m tired or even if I can manage a wine and my eye twitches and squashes in when I eat,’ she said.

‘I’m very self conscious.


Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can be spread to humans by infected ticks. It’s usually easier to treat if it’s diagnosed early.

Many people with early symptoms of Lyme disease develop a circular red skin rash around a tick bite.

The rash can appear up to 3 months after being bitten by a tick and usually lasts for several weeks. Most rashes appear within the first 4 weeks.

Not everyone with Lyme disease gets the rash. Some people also have flu-like symptoms in the early stages, such as:

  • a high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
  • headaches
  • muscle and joint pain
  • tiredness and loss of energy

Source: NHS

‘My daughter is unable to work as she has to take care of me.

‘Doing the school run and the dinner takes it out of me.

‘I was really healthy before the bite.

‘I now suffer from blurred vision, brain fog and constant headaches. I have to wear glasses now to watch the TV as the brightness blurs my vision.

‘I’ve become forgetful too. I’ll be out shopping for sugar and come back with milk. I missed my sister’s birthday and only remembered four days later. I’ve missed doctors and dentist appointments too.

‘The NHS are just unwilling to diagnose me with Lyme Disease but I’ve after three years of researching and countless other tests, it can’t be anything but.

‘Doctors told me that Lyme Disease just doesn’t exist in Wales but I’m proof there is. I don’t know why they’re trying to cover it up.

‘If it was diagnosed straight away and treated with Doxycycline I wouldn’t have had to go through all this. Doxycycline just wouldn’t work now as I’m so far gone.

‘I just want to be treated for my illness and I’m left feeling suicidal.

‘The NHS have handed me information about private treatment but I have a family to provide for.

‘I’ve been left unable to work so there’s no point me phoning up as I simply can’t afford it.’

Symptoms of Lyme disease include nerve pain, weakened muscles, fatigue and blurred vision.

Celebrities who have suffered from the Lyme disease include Shania Twain, Avril Lavigne and former US President George W Bush.

Last week a school in Colchester, Essex, issued an urgent Lyme disease warning after a child was bitten by a tick.

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