Raworth lyme disease sufferer Tahlia Smith to thank East Maitland Rotary Club for $60,000

PROGRESS: Tahlia Smith will attend the next East Maitland Rotary Club meeting to thank the club for their support. Picture: MAX MASON-HUBERS
PROGRESS: Tahlia Smith will attend the next East Maitland Rotary Club meeting to thank the club for their support. Picture: MAX MASON-HUBERS

Local lyme disease sufferer Tahlia Smith will attend the next East Maitland Rotary Club meeting to thank the group for their support of her journey to recovery.

The Raworth woman travelled to Germany late last year to seek treatment for the tick-borne illness that has consumed her life.

As the disease is not recognised in Australia, Ms Smith’s family was forced to foot the medical bills, which costed thousands of dollars each month.

When the Rotary Club heard Ms Smith’s story and how much the treatment was costing her family, they decided to come on board and help out.

The club has helped to raise funds for the Smith family which have gone towards monthly medical bills, flights to Germany and a light machine to help control Ms Smith’s seizures.

Rotary Club member Chris Dorn, who has been managing the fundraising project, said the club opened the invitation to Ms Smith and her family to attend a meeting when she was well enough, to update the club on her progress.

Since returning home from Germany, Ms Smith has seen some improvements to her health.

In February, she became well enough to be able to walk without the assistance of a walker and her seizures had stopped.

Her father Brett Smith also told The Mercury on Friday that his daughter was doing well.

Mr Dorn said it will be great to hear from Ms Smith on Tuesday night, especially considering the progress she has made.

“[I’m looking forward to] just hearing her story and the difficulties she’s had,” Mr Dorn said.

“I just can’t imagine having seizures every hour.”

“Now there’s hope for her, she can see a quality of life in the near future.”

Mr Dorn said it is also an opportunity to bring attention back to their campaign for Ms Smith, as public donations have dried up as of late due to a lack of publicity.

To support the Rotary Club’s fundraiser for Ms Smith, visit directory.rawcs.com.au/ProjectDisplay.aspx?ID=877

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