Raworth lyme disease sufferer Tahlia Smith doing well but disappointed by closure of senate inquiry

HEALTHY: Tahlia Smith is doing well, but was disappointed by the closure of the senate inquiry into lyme disease. Picture: MAX MASON-HUBERS
HEALTHY: Tahlia Smith is doing well, but was disappointed by the closure of the senate inquiry into lyme disease. Picture: MAX MASON-HUBERS

Raworth lyme disease sufferer Tahlia Smith said it was “disappointing, sad and frustrating” to see the Senate inquiry into lyme disease close.

The tick-borne illness has been a contentious issue in Australia, as many doctors and the government refuse to believe it exists in this country.

On November 12, 2015, the Senate referred the matter to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report.

But the inquiry into the disease ceased on May 9 when federal parliament went into caretaker mode ahead of the July 2 election.

The Parliament of Australia website stated that inquiries that were not completed had lapsed and submissions cannot be received.

The only way the inquiry will re-open is if the matter is referred again.

In that case, submissions already received will be used, and the inquiry will pick up from where it left off.

Ms Smith said the closure of the inquiry wasn’t right.

“It looked really positive there for a while,” she said.

“It’s very wrong on the government’s behalf to cross it out so easily.”

Ms Smith said she would like to see rebates offered for treatments, which she said were quite expensive.

She also wanted lyme disease acknowledged as existing in Australia.

“People roll their eyes when they hear the ‘L’ word,” she said.

“I’d like them [the government] go to the next step.

“It would be good to get some recognition.”

However, the 22-year-old has come leaps and bounds in her recovery since travelling to Germany, Switzerland and Serbia at the end of 2015 to receive intensive treatment for the illness.

In February, she was able to walk for the first time since April, 2015, and the regular seizures she was suffering stopped.

Ms Smith is still on large amounts of medication from Europe.

She also travels to Sydney regularly for treatment.

But Ms Smith said she’s in a much better place than she was a year ago.

“I’m getting stronger,” she said.

“I’m able to live my life a lot better.”

This story Disappointed at closure of lyme disease inquiry | PHOTOS, VIDEO first appeared on The Maitland Mercury.

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