As a logger Scotty estimated that he was bitten by 30-40 ticks every Spring and that he never gave a 2nd thought to their ability to cripple and kill healthy people.
The last 30 years of Scotty's life were progressively miserable.
Suffering from severe joint and muscle pain Scotty had to cut back on his activities, then the neurological symptoms kicked in and his ability to think and and solve problems affected his design work. But when his heart left him weak as a kitten, Scotty had no choice but to stop work all together. Pain and dysfunction had taken its toll.
After 20 years of misery a local doctor began treating Scotty aggressively with antibiotics. Each time the pain was almost unbearable with bouts of sweats, fatigue and heart issues.
Anyone else would be depressed but Scotty said in his death bed video, that he had never been depressed a day. Even when he was in hospice he always had a bright smile for friends, family and his dog, and as in his nature right to the end he had gifts for everyone.
But perhaps Scotty's greatest gift was his never ending attempts to help other Lyme patients, and to educate the locals. When in his poorest health he organized a series of lectures at the TWIG town hall, and raffles off his remaining furniture to raise monies for research.
In the end despite almost 7 years of continuous antibiotics, Scotty had three species of Borrelia in his body. Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia myamotoi was in his brain and Borrelia mayonii and Borrelia burgdorferi were in his testicle.
RETIREMENT: Scotty's life and autopsy suggests that occupations like logging, forestry, and being a Park Ranger, probably has a higher incidence of disability, and poor quality of life compared to retirement in professions that are low risk for tick-borne-illness.
His greatest gift to us survivors was his insistence to have a complete autopsy done, so that any knowledge from his illness would help others.
We are waiting for funds to do section and stain his heart for Borrelia. A heart which was too big and too kind for this world, and was a heart that forgave the dozens of doctors that shunned him and refused to acknowledge his 30 year fight for life because of Borreliosis. TG
Below are some of the hundreds of positive slides from Scotty Shelton using species specific FISH stains for Borrelia species.
RED is Borrelia miyamotoi, GREEN is Borrelia burgdorferi,
VIOLET is Borrelia miyamotoi. (Alan MacDonald 2015)