A three-times martial arts world champion from Wigan has been refused treatment for an infection which has left him blind and unable to walk.
Stephen Bullough, 51, is bed-bound after the infection, believed to be Lyme disease, ravaged his central nervous system, respiratory system and left him with no sight in either eye.
The kickboxing and karate ace is devastated at being refused treatment for the disease after private tests revealed high levels of the life-changing illness, which is carried by black-legged ticks found on deer and dogs.
Despite numerous pleas to NHS doctors, the dad-of-two is still being refused treatment because the NHS blood tests, which are widely-known not to be 100 per cent accurate, have not revealed the antibodies in his system.
His wife, Angela, who is now caring for Stephen at their Pemberton home, said that the couple’s life has been “ripped apart” and could have been solved months ago.
“He was as fit as a fiddle,” she said. “He used to run his own martial arts gym, has won countless championships, never smoked or drank in his life.
“This has completely ripped our lives apart. We went to the out of hours doctor who was completely stumped, he gave him a prescription for Valium and sent us on our way,
“Nothing was followed up really. I think now maybe we should have done but it went away – which was weird.”
For a few months following the first incident, Stephen appeared to be in good health but he collapsed a few days before his daughter’s wedding, leaving him needing the use of wheelchair.
More tests followed but there no firm diagnosis came until private treatment confirmed he had the disease.
Just two weeks ago Stephen suffered a seizure and lost his sight.
The couple are now fighting for the once fit and healthy man to regain some of his health so that they can travel to Dublin to see a world-renowned Lyme disease specialist who has agreed to treat him based on the private lab results.