Lyme disease strikes another Northwest Florida young person, family needs help paying for hyperbaric treatments

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Bonifay-On Monday we told you about a Bonifay family who's daughter struggled with lyme disease for years, then found healing through hyperbaric oxygen treatments. Now that family is getting ready to open an outpatient hyperbaric oxygen center of their own. The center in Bonifay should be up and running by the first of the year, just in time for another local lyme disease patient to use it for follow up treatments.

After seeing such a drastic improvement in the life of their daughter, the Guthrie family was inspired to open a hyperbaric treatment facility in their own backyard...literally. "We saw what a wonderful thing it did for her and we felt actually called to go into this," said David Guthrie, Megan's dad. They want to be on the front lines of helping people battle life threatening diseases.

It's a battle Candace Metcalf could certainly use help fighting. She is currently struggling with debilitating lyme disease. Metcalf, who lives in Washington County, is undergoing treatment at a Healing Chambers clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina. "I'm hoping I can get my life back and get out of the pain I am in," said Candace. A vivacious young entrepreneur, Candace has lost so much to lyme disease...including her home and her business.

Though not open in time for her initial treatment, the Guthrie's new facility will allow Candace to continue hyperbaric treatments in Northwest Florida rather than out of state.

A similiar treatment was sought by John Branch, a local Bay High graduate who has struggled with the disease since 2008. Though they can't pinpoint if it was the hyperbaric treatments or other medical care that helped him turn a corner, John is doing much better and is currently attending Gulf Coast Community College.

It's not just lyme disease the chambers help. Autistic children, burn patients and cancer patients also benefit. "We find now that we can keep little kids alive, adults and leukemia kids. They don't die if they do regular oncology things as well as hyperbaric oxygen therapy because the body is looking for that extra gun powder," said Robert Sands. Sands was the first person to build an outpatient hyperbaric oxygen center in the US. He is in Bonifay helping the Guthries open their center. In a hospital hyperbaric treatments will typically cost up to $1800 a session, at a facility like the Guthries a session will cost about $160.

Health insurance doesn't cover the hyperbaric treatments Candace is undergoing in Charlotte. That's why friends and family have set up an account for her at Regions bank. The account is named "Care for Candace." You can donate at any branch.

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