A WOMAN whose dream life was taken away at the hands of Lyme disease is dedicating her time to helping other sufferers.

Sarah Mills was diagnosed with the disease when she was 14, but it was identified too late it has affected her life dramatically.

She is determined to prevent others suffering the same fate.

Miss Mills, 33, from Stanway, said: “I have been unable to work since I was 14. I lost my teens and my twenties to Lyme disease.

“It has robbed me of a career, a relationship, a family - I can’t even look after myself.

“I have to have care in and most days I get up and have breakfast, then spend the rest of the day on the sofa. Sometimes I just have to sleep.”

Miss Mills wants to raise awareness of the condition so other people can be treated earlier.

She said: “If you catch it early enough and get the right antibiotics you can be completely cured, what I have been through is preventable.

“I’m not surprised there has been a surge in the national news, as if people are left with it, it can easily be passed on to more people.”

Miss Mills found out she had the bacterial infection after suffering with continuous flu-like symptoms.

The infection, which comes from an insect bite, causes a bullseye rash on the skin. It can also result in cardiac and cognitive problems, which can be fatal.

Miss Mills has set up a support group in Colchester with her mum Vivian, 53, who also has the disease.

The team has a third member, friend Sarah Warren, who contracted the disease from abroad.

Miss Mills said: “About 3,000 people a year are missed by the NHS, as the only two tests available have a combined success rate of 50 per cent.

“I attended a parliamentary meeting with Public Health England about trying to get more sensitive testing.”

The support group is trying to build a membership base.

For more information about Lyme Disease or the support group, visit colchesterlyme.wordpress.com or email colchester.lyme@gmail.com.


BEFORE contracting the disease Miss Mills was a healthy teenager who loved sports and music, and was heavily involved in cross country and athletics.

At 14 she had bouts of flu, and she never recovered from a particularly bad spell.

She said: “I missed half of my first year of GCSEs and couldn’t do A levels as I had to drop out, it was really frustrating.

“I was so ill I can’t really remember a lot from that period.

“My first love was music and my dream job was to travel the world with an orchestra, but I would forget the scales the day after learning them. I was up to grade six at clarinet but had to give up.”

Miss Mills is often exhausted and in pain after doing everyday activities.

With help from carers she is able to do social activities including an art class and choir.


CELEBRITIES with Lyme disease are helping to raise the profile of the condition.

Avril Lavigne, who was bedridden for five months, has spoken about her experience with the disease.

U.S reality TV star Yolanda Foster has revealed her children Bella, 18, and Anwar Hadid, 16, have been battling Lyme disease for more than three years.

Yolanda, 51, was diagnosed with the debilitating condition in 2012.

British Phones4u billionaire John Caudwell, who, along with his ex-wife and three children, has Lyme disease, believes his children may have contracted the condition in the womb.


LYME disease is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks, ting spider-like creatures found in woodland and heath area s.

Those that carry the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease are found throughout the UK and in other parts of Europe and North America.

Many people with early-stage Lyme disease develop a distinctive circular rash at the site of the tick bite, usually three to 30 days after being bitten.

Some also experience flu-like symptoms in the early stages.

More serious symptoms may develop several weeks, months or even years later if Lyme disease is left untreated or is not treated early, including heart, flu, nervous system or fatigue conditions.