Dying for help! Bradfield barman reveals life has been turned upside down after being struck down by debilitating illness
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017
He clocked up 14-hour shifts as a barman during the busy summer season in Norfolk, and travelled around the world in pursuit of his dreams of becoming a chalet host and ski instructor.
But, for much of the last four months, Ant Marshall, from Bradfield, near North Walsham, has been confined to his bed as he struggles to walk, cook, wash and talk, and is currently being cared for by his mum.
The 25-year-old web designer revealed his life has been turned upside down after being struck down by suspected Lyme disease - a debilitating illness spread to humans by infected ticks.
He claimed the health service in England has no cure for his condition and now, having been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and spending all his savings on tests, he has launched a campaign to raise money for an official diagnosis and treatment abroad.
Ant, who revealed he also now struggles to watch television because his eyes have become sensitive to light, said: 'People are dying from this illness globally and the longer I wait, the longer it lives inside me.
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'There is an alternative therapy clinic in Cyprus that has changed the lives of many people with my diagnosis through Ozone Therapy and I truly believe it will turn my life around if I can get there, but I can't do it on my own and need help.
'Ozone completely kills bacteria and a lot of other things and the clinic is an all inclusive treatment plan with four weeks accommodation, various therapies but the most important one being Ozone IV.
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'The sooner I can get to Cyprus the better. Because I have only been sick for four months, my recovery is said to be quicker than those who go for years without a diagnosis.'
And he added: 'If I can get my health back, I will pledge my life to the people suffering from this disease and connected illnesses so not only will donating give me my own life back, it will enable me to help others in the long run to help turn their lives around also.'
Ant revealed the cost of being treated abroad is around £6000. An online fund set-up to support him raised £400 in its first day.
Meantime, he has tried changing his diet and experimenting with supplements as over the counter medicine, he claims, only makes his condition worse for many people.
Ant said: 'I used to be very active, now I'm pretty much in my bed all the time. After spending all the savings I had on tests and things that I thought would help, I have nothing left and am waiting for my benefits to start. My savings were intended originally for a place to live and training for a winter season abroad but both of these things are now a pipe-dream.
'I recently received confirmation in blood through a lab in Germany that my body is fighting off Lyme, which has left me with chronic fatigue syndrome or M/E, depending on which doctor you ask, and with severe brain dysfunction. There is not much help for me in England and each week that passes is another week this disease could progress. I am struggling to walk, cook, wash and talk.
'More and more research needs to be done on this debilitating illness, it is taking people's lives away and the people who are sick are too unwell to make much noise about it, being left to suffer in their bedrooms and wasting away.'
Anyone wishing to donate to Ant's fund can do so by following this link - gofundme.com/ants-lyme-cfs-me-treatment-fund