Woman, 22, tragically takes her own life after being ‘hijacked’ by cruel disease
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Featured Image Credit: Alain Champagne
A father has shared a heartbreaking tribute to his daughter who ended her life after being diagnosed with Lyme disease.
Amelie Champagne, 22, from Montreal in Quebec, was left in ‘unbearable pain’ due to the condition, but she had only received her diagnosis in June after spending years attempting to figure out what was wrong with her health.
Alain Champagne, CEO of Le Groupe Maurice in Canada, shared a heartbreaking post on LinkedIn confirming the death of his daughter.
The devastated father wrote: “While I never do personal posts, I wanted to share this … It is with the heaviest of hearts (and still in shock) that I share the tragic news that our sweetheart Amelie (22) took her own life this past Sunday.”
Alain shared how Lyme disease continued to impact his daughter in her last few months, and said it had ‘evolved way beyond the numerous physical symptoms and now severely impacting her brain.’
He also said the disease ‘essentially hijacked her’.
Sharing how Amelie’s family are struggling to come to terms with the loss, he wrote: “We were witnesses as to how challenging life had become for her in dealing with the evolving Lyme disease symptoms (after years of medical errance and finally getting a positive test in the US this past June, over time and despite the recent treatments, the disease had evolved way beyond the numerous physical symptoms and was now severely impacting her brain).
“Over time, Lyme essentially hijacked her…She was so courageous throughout this ordeal… she decided to free herself from the unbearable pain.
“We are confident she is now in peace and that her spirit is shining bright upon the large number of people she touched over her short stay with us.”
Her father commended her ‘resilience and continued optimism’ while suffering with ‘increasing symptoms’.
Amelie was a university student who also spent her time volunteering at a homeless shelter and working with children.
“For those that had the opportunity to cross her path, Amelie left a long-lasting impression through her engaging and empathetic personality,” the post continues. “Despite the struggles of the past few years she persevered through university, kept working at a respite center for handicapped kids, was starting to volunteer at a homeless shelter near our place … and remained ever the vibrant/fun-loving friend and member of our family.
“The resilience and continued optimism she displayed while dealing with the ever increasing symptoms was and remains my main source of inspiration."
Lyme disease is an infection that is transmitted to humans when bitten by infected ticks. It is commonly caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and sometimes Borrelia mayonii, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states.
Ticks prefer warm, humid climates and can be found in grassy wooded areas, fields or places with lots of rodents.
Symptoms often include fatigue, fever, headache and a characteristic skin rash which may look like a dartboard or bullseye. The infection can spread to joints, the heart and the nervous system if left untreated. These symptoms are common to other illnesses which makes early diagnosis difficult. Most cases can be treated with antibiotics.
Canadian celebrities including pop-rock singer Avril Lavigne, country music superstar Shania Twain and pop singer Justin Bieber have all opened up about battling with Lyme disease.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123
For help and support in Canada, please contact the Canadian Mental Health Association via their website https://cmha.ca/ or call 1-833-456-4566 toll free (In QC: 1-866-277-3553), 24/7. You can also visit Talk Suicide Canada.