Hilary Skinner, Britains First Known Lyme Suicide

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Joined: Sun 30 Sep 2007 15:49

Hilary Skinner, Britains First Known Lyme Suicide

Post by CaliforniaLyme » Wed 31 Oct 2007 16:42

Hilary Skinner

Association Newsfile

DATE: October 1, 1993, Friday

Teacher Hilary Skinner killed herself because doctors refused to believe she
was suffering from a rare disease, an inquest heard today. Mrs Skinner, 43,
became ill after being bitten by an insect while she lived in Canada. Her
husband Mark claimed British doctors who had never heard of her condition
thought she was making the story up - but an American specialist confirmed last
August that she had contracted the unusual illness.

His wife died from carbon monoxide poisoning as she sat in her car last March -
a hosepipe from the exhaust led into the vehicle, which was parked outside her
home in Ponteland, Northumberland. Alongside her body was a note saying:
"I can't live without my health."

Newcastle upon Tyne coroner Leonard Coyle heard Mrs Skinner was bitten by a
Lyme tick while living in Vancouver, Canada, in 1984. The insect lives in
heavily wooded areas and its bite can cause Lyme Disease which affects the
nervous system. Mrs Skinner was taken ill almost immediately and the couple
returned to Britain for treatment.

Mr Skinner, a publishing company executive, said: "Nobody appeared to be
interested in her case and treated her as just a neurotic woman. "She told any
number of doctors what she thought but they wouldn't believe her and fobbed her
off with anti-depressants. If they had done some research they would have found
that Lyme Disease is hard to detect in its final stages but they weren't
prepared to look for something they had not heard about."

US consultant Dr Elliott Frank diagnosed Lyme Disease when Mrs Skinner went to
America last year, the hearing was told.

"Hilary was right all the time but the doctors here still wouldn't believe her
and she changed from a vibrant woman into someone whose appearance and energy
went into rapid decline," said Mr Skinner.

Pathologist Dr Nigel Cooper told the hearing: " Lyme Disease is something not
seen very often in this country but I do know it can affect the brain and

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Joined: Wed 2 Jan 2008 22:13

Re: Hilary Skinner, Britains First Known Lyme Suicide

Post by AbbyDawg » Wed 2 Jan 2008 22:47

Dearest Hilary ~

I just want to post a message to you ... I know you "see me" but I want to let anyone else reading this post that I have not forgotten you and that you are still in my heart. I made it, Hil! It took all the kicking and screaming I could do here in the US to get treatment until I knew it was safe. I ended up with 11 months total of 2 gr. Rocephin IV daily. But I made it. And I think you were watching over me and helping me to kick and scream.

Remember the day we went to Dr. Frank's office together ... and we laughed so hard in the parking garage that they nearly hauled us away? Both of us with severe cognitive problems, you couldn't drive and keep your sense of direction and I had no problems driving but trouble with short-term memory, especially if distracted. So off we go to try and beg more drugs from Dr. Frank and when we were done with our appointments we went back to the car in the huge parking garage in Minneapolis ... only to realize that neither one of us had a CLUE where the car was or on what floor! And of course, I didn't remember the license number either so we couldn't ask for help. We nearly rolled on the floor laughing at two women driving around Mpls and not one good brain between the two of us! So we just kept laughing and walking up the big circle parking ramp floor after floor until we finally found a car that looked familiar.

Hilary, I miss you! You brought so much light and understanding into my life in such a short time. I still treasure the Christmas gifts and photos you sent ... they arrived after you were already gone ... but I still feel you watching over us. By the way, I've been fighting like hell over this breast cancer I managed to get 16 months ago, so send a little extra help when you can. But fighting cancer is nothing compared to the battle you waged against the doctors that were worse than the disease. For cancer they have so many drugs to try and give out so freely ... with late-stage Lyme in the 1980s and early 1990s they called us drug seekers with the latest hysterical women's disease. BUT we were right! And we won! And I miss you! You were a shining light leading the way. Thank you always.

My love always,
Helen in MN

PS Mark, if you ever read this, send an email. I hope you are doing well. I'm living now near your hometown ... in in Blue Earth and think of you and Hil when I am in Albert Lea.

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Joined: Thu 26 Apr 2012 20:48

Re: Hilary Skinner, Britains First Known Lyme Suicide

Post by precious007 » Tue 1 May 2012 18:02

Just popping in to say hi,

And yes ...
only to realize that neither one of us had a CLUE where the car was or on what floor!
This happens to me every single time, I have severe memory issues(short term).If I'm about to do something on my laptop, in just under one second I go to the next open tab and completely forgot what I intended to do ;-)

Pretty hard way to live sometimes, barely recalling basic words, sometimes I find myself on the opposite side where I can hold clear straight to the point speeches, and all of sudden again I fall into the "short-term-memory-loss".

My Story and Website here if you guys want to read it sometime - http://www.lyme.ws/lyme-disease-story-2/


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