A HOWWOOD mum has told of her battle to have her young son diagnosed with a serious condition caused by a tick bite that can cause long-term health problems.

Theresa Dolan said five-year-old Patrick has been seen by at least 20 doctors, with the family spending thousands of pounds on private healthcare before he was given the right antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease.

Patrick was bitten in the family’s garden in December 2015, at the age of three.

Within a few days, a bullseye rash appeared around the bite – a common symptom of the disease, which can cause liver damage and heart problems if not treated promptly or with sufficient antibiotics.

Around a week after the rash appeared, Patrick suffered flu-like symptoms, his temperature soared and he experienced seizures.

Over the past two years, he has suffered extreme fevers, fatigue, tremors, breathing problems and joint paint and has been to Accident and Emergency at least four times in the past 12 months.

Despite having three blood tests for Lyme disease, his mother said he is only now receiving the right dose of the antibiotic Amoxicillin from a private, Dublin-based consultant.

The family were living in Dubai when Patrick first became unwell.

Theresa, 35, who is a teacher, said: “Patrick had come in with a bite but wasn’t complaining about it.

“He was absolutely fine but, within 10 days, he became very unwell, with a high temperature.

“It was Christmas and he was barely interested in presents or Santa.

“The doctors there did a test for Lyme disease but weren’t able to interpret it properly.

“They basically advised us to take him back to the UK.”

The family moved to Ireland, where dad Diarmaid is from, and Patrick received six weeks of treatment for Lyme disease in December 2016.

His condition seemed to improve but, in March and April last year, he started to suffer from erratic fevers for a few days at a time.

The family moved back to Scotland in May last year and, since then, Patrick has been to A&E at least four times.

He is now receiving an intensive course of antibiotics from a private consultant in Dublin, which his family hope will finally set him on the path to recovery.

Theresa said: “I don’t know whether it’s partly because they don’t know enough about it but there seems to be an unwillingness by doctors to consider Lyme disease.”