Jo faces another big battle

Boggabri woman is fighting Lyme Disease

THE BATTLE LIES AHEAD: Jo Bell of Boggabri wants to raise awareness of Lyme Disease, as she begins treatment for the condition herself.

Jo Bell is a strong and fiercely independent 46-year-old woman who for the past 15 years has been searching for an answer as to why she has been slowly getting sicker and sicker.

Born in Mudgee, she and her twin sister were raised by their grandparents.

At 15 she had to leave school and start work to support the family when her grandfather died and her Nan was suffering the effects of dementia.

For many years she worked in Mudgee before moving to Sydney.

With her drive, determination and strong work ethic she entered the corporate world where she excelled working with solicitors, real estate and in finance.

Mrs Bell and husband Paul left Sydney and bought a service station in Rockhampton which employed one person.

Mrs Bell threw herself into the job at hand.

Despite suffering numerous medical problems, visiting many doctors and specialists without relief or answers she and her husband built the service station up and at the time of sale they were employing 12 staff.

The Bells purchased Boggabri Hardware store and moved to Boggabri almost five years ago.

Excruciating pain in her face and back, brain fog and problems with her vision, Mrs Bell had teeth removed, massages, blood tests, x-rays, scans and numerous pain medications all to no avail.

During Christmas 2016 Mrs Bell was at breaking point.

She was referred to a Sydney hospital for pain management but still no relief.

Mrs Bell couldn’t walk; her husband and nephew had to help her to the bathroom, into and out of bed, the pain in her face and back escalated, brain fog and blurred vision had her thinking maybe it was in her head.

A cousin who Mrs Bell was staying with suggested she try for an appointment with her doctor.

By chance the doctor had an appointment available next day and he started treating her back which gave her some relief.

Regular trips to Sydney helped the back pain.

Fast forward 12 months and Mrs Bell was back in Sydney for her back.

During the consultation the doctor asked if he could do a special blood test that had to be sent overseas.

When the results came in Mrs Bell was told to bring a pen and paper to the appointment as she may like to take some notes.