Geraghtys: Doctors pushed ALS diagnosis, ignored Lyme

Geraghtys: Doctors pushed ALS diagnosis, ignored Lyme

Family still holding out hope for a cure

CUMBERLAND - A year ago, the Geraghty family was preparing for the holidays just like they always did, unaware of the deep, life-altering trouble to come.

On Dec. 2, 2013, David Geraghty began feeling discomfort in his diaphragm. By the first week of January, he was intubated in the hospital.

Tara Geraghty said the past year has been one of questions, of desperation, of deep sadness as she's watched her husband's health go downhill, powerless to help him as doctors struggled to diagnose him.

Tara and Dave Geraghty were given more theories than they can even remember on what might be ailing the former principal at Shea and Tolman high schools in Pawtucket. They've faced one roadblock after another as they've tried to figure out what's wrong with him.

In September, students and staff at both high schools joined a national phenomenon and ran ALS ice bucket challenges to honor Geraghty and raise money for him and his family.

But Tara Geraghty now says her husband doesn't have ALS, short for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and she has questioned that diagnosis for much of 2014. Her work as a clinical social worker has given her enough knowledge to know that ALS patients don't show significant improvement from the disease, and her husband improved for two months this past spring.

The symptoms of ALS very closely mirror those of Lyme disease, said Geraghty, including weakness, paralysis of muscles, and difficulty breathing, but she was shocked at the reluctance of those in the medical profession to even consider the possibility that's what her husband had. She said one doctor even laughed at her.

"There's something about Lyme disease that no one wants to talk about it," she said.

The Geraghtys live on 14 acres of wooded land in Cumberland, said Tara Geraghty, and her daughter and a family dog have both had the illness, further convincing her that her husband had a rare form of the tick-borne disease.

After Dave Geraghty's lung collapsed in August, prompting a rush to the emergency room, Tara made an appointment with a Lyme specialist. The specialist said the symptoms appeared to show Lyme. Other doctors just called the specialist "controversial," she said.

Geraghty said she got so frustrated with doctors that she ended up sending a vial of her husband's blood to California to be analyzed at a specialized lab. By mid-November, she had the analysis back: Dave has chronic Lyme disease.

Doctors have a lot to answer for in how they've treated her entire family over the past year, said Geraghty.

"These people took the Hippocratic Oath to leave no stone unturned," she said. She said she was "outraged" to be "judged unfairly" and made to feel that the Lyme diagnosis was out of the question.

She said she informed the Rhode Island Department of Health right away after learning that Lyme was in the blood, hoping there would be some sort of action taken to look into the disease more.

Even with the new information in hand, Tara said she still had to force the hand of the medical center where her husband is on a ventilator to treat him for Lyme disease.

Geraghty is convinced that Lyme disease has reached "endemic" levels in the U.S., but her experiences over the past year, talking with so many others in similar situations, make her believe that doctors are misdiagnosing patients far too often.

Geraghty said she was shocked at how quickly doctors wanted to diagnose a terminal illness like ALS and how reluctant they were to explore other options. She said they wanted to say it was ALS when they hadn't even done the basic tests for the disease.

"Why not just try it? Give us the antibiotics," she said. "You already have him pegged for dead anyway."

The mother of two wants others to question their doctors when they receive a similar diagnosis, to keep fighting for their loved ones even when they, too, are being mocked by those in the medical profession.

Dave Geraghty still has "a long road ahead of him," said his wife, but she and her twin children are holding out hope that aggressive treatments for Lyme disease can bring him back. Callen and Brynn Geraghty celebrated their 13th birthday last week.

According to his wife, Dave Geraghty calls the experience of the past year "humbling, humiliating, horrifying," but he wants to turn all those awful experiences into something good, helping others who may be in a similar situation. Dave's favorite line to his wife is, "My work isn't done here."

As for Tara Geraghty, she's working three jobs to support the family and pay for treatment and therapy that insurance doesn't cover. She remains committed to her "Save Dave" mission even as she continues to raise two children on her own. She says her faith in God and good people has helped her get through it.

Though many supporters, including Dave Geraghty's former co-workers and students, have been very generous, money has been difficult to come by, she said. She recently refinanced their Cumberland home and the couple has liquidated their children's college fund.

To help the Geraghty family financially, visit . To leave messages of encouragement, comment on this story at .

Tara and Dave Geraghty, in the foreground, enjoy a beach trip over the summer with their twins, 13-year-old Brynn and Callen.


Hang in there Dave,I went 5 years misdiagnosed with lyme and other tick diseases. All people with lyme can all agree on one thing that doctors are idiots. Thank god for lawyers!

Dave, I really meant to tell you to check out the Lyme Center Of New England in Cumberland.

I have been on the Chronic Lyme train for too long and tried various approaches, either limited by finances or narrow-minded doctors or both. Unfortunately, I now am so physically messed up that SSDI couldn't deny my claim, even if they prefer to think I have MS. One thing I have begun doing is explore the genetic problems I might have that keep me unwell. I did the 23andMe test and paid for a report and a nutritional practitioner to help me begin to understand what it means. It seems to me I have at least several of the complicating problems outlined in Dr. Richard Horowitz's book "Why Can't I Get Better?" I am taking the bit of money from SSDI and investing it in wellness. I suggest, at the very least, you read this book, too. Good luck for a good recovery.



Suggestions for When You Need Treatment and Funds Are Low plus Financial Burdens post towards bottom; extremely detailed by Melanie Reber

i was bitten by a tick 46 yrs. ago this christmas, but NEVER saw an embedded tick with blood; NO bulls-eye rash or any strange rash!

i was MISDIAGNOSED FOR 35 hellish years by 40-50 drs. UNACCEPTABLE.

using my daily diary and excluding every possible source of getting ticks, i determined the tick came OFF MY FOLK'S CUT CHRISTMAS TREE.

i've met entire families bitten the same way as me online.

in the last 10 years, i've helped save over 85,000+ patients nationwide and internationally by giving out factual info and getting names for our ILADS, international lyme and associated disease society, LLMD, lyme literate md, names sent out to them so they can be either:

cured after getting to a ilads llmd promptly for diagnosis and treatment taken long enough or

get into remission for quality of life again by taking long-term antibiotics, supplements, or alternative therapies.

i hope you find the above 2 links very helpful. 1st link should show 6-10 links where IF you meet financial criteria, you can get FREE MEDS!!

bettyg, iowa lyme survivor/activist

Read this earlier in the week and have just now come across the following case report which has been presented at the European Respiratory Society Annual Congress 2013, but has yet to complete the peer review process for publication.
Basunaid S, van der Grinten C, Cobben N et al. Case Report: Bilateral diaphragmatic dysfunction due to Borrelia Burgdorferi v1; ref status: awaiting peer review,
F1000Research 2014, 3:235.

Hi Dave, I was misdiagnosed a few times in the late summer and fall of 2013. As the symptoms and pain from the lyme disease grew worse and worse, I finally found my way to Dr Glenn Fort, an infectious disease specialist, based at Landmark Hospital. For 30 days, I was given infusions of the antibiotic Rocephin at Landmark and it was covered by insurance. By the end of the 30 days I felt much better, but was still physically quite weak. Physical therapy and time spent at the Y has helped me regain most of my strength. I recommend that you contact Dr Fort's office. In any case, I know that I am one of the lucky ones to have recovered this well and I truly hope that you do also.

My brother has been told that the dr. Is 90 percent sure he has ALS.Not all symptoms are present. What laboratory did you use in California? I hope your husband recovers soon. I don't think they have even tested my brother here for Lyme. Thank you

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My Husband was DX with ALS for years and i went everywhere to get useful information that will help cure or suppress the disease.
then i came across testimonies of those that took my hard earn money without any useful information or cure but they keep telling stories.
about two months ago, a new staff was applied in my place of work and when He heard about my Husband Disease He was so remorseful and told me about Dr Alex.
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well, lots of thanks to Dr Alex cos as im writing this message, my Husband is CURED through the herbs that Dr Alex sent to us.
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After been in pain and sorrow for 2years and 11months, Dr ojugo was able to restore my life back with his herbal medicine, my good friends i have been ALS positive for 2years and everyday of my life i cry to God as i was a father of 2 cute kids who were looking up to me, I was taking my medication from the hospital, I also did some prayers to God that he should do some miracle in my life, my friends this is a life touching story i am sharing with you all on net today, Few Months ago i was browsing on net when i found some good testimonials about Dr ojugo's Herbs, and someone recommended that he has cured ALS , i always had faith that God could use someone to heal me, i contacted Dr ojugo and i told him concerning my problem he told me not to worry that with God all things are possible and also that he was going to prepare for me some herbal herbs which i am to take and he is going to send the medicine to me, well after all the guidance and medication from Dr ojugo he advice that i go for check again to see my status result and he assured me of good result, i was afraid at this point cause i never wanted someone to tell me again that i am positive, after 2days i went to the Hospital for check up and they said the result was to come out by Friday, at 11:00am on Friday the hospital Doctor called me and told me that the result was out and i am Negative, i was shocked and could not believe it, i immediately called Dr ojugo and told him about the good news he told me to rejoice and make sure i share my testimony with my friends and that is why i am doing this right now, friends you can contact Dr ojugo today on [ ,call him on +2347050396006], friends Dr ojugo can help you solve any problem contact him now.The God that did mine will surely do yours.

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I have been suffering from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) disease for the last four years and had constant pain, especially in my knees. During the first year,I had faith in God that i would be healed someday.This disease started circulate all over my body and i have been taking treatment from my doctor, few weeks ago i came on search on the internet if i could get any information concerning the prevention of this disease, on my search i saw a testimony of someone who has been healed from (Hepatitis B and Cancer) by this Man Dr Camala and she also gave the email address of this man and advise we should contact him for any sickness that he would be of help, so i wrote to Dr Camala telling him about my (ALS Virus) he told me not to worry that i was going to be cured!! hmm i never believed it,, well after all the procedures and remedy given to me by this man few weeks later i started experiencing changes all over me as the Dr assured me that i have cured,after some time i went to my doctor to confirmed if i have be finally healed behold it was TRUE, So friends my advise is if you have such sickness or any other at all you can email Dr Camala on : ( THESE ARE THE THINGS DR Camala CAN ALSO CURE.. GONORRHEA, HIV/AIDS , LOW SPERM COUNT, MENOPAUSE DISEASE, PREGNANCY PROBLEM, SHORT SIGHTEDNESS PROBLEM, Stroke, Bring back ex lover or wife/husband....sir i am indeed grateful for the help i will forever recommend you to my friends!!!...

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I was diagnosed of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells, I was given medications to slow down the progress of the disease, after some months my conditioned worsened and i lost ability to go about my daily activities and i had to quit my job, my legs and arms were terribly weakened, i resorted to a wheelchair (Perbombil C300). This was till my husband's friend introduced my husband to a herbal clinic in South Africa who sell herbal medicines to cure all kind of diseases including ALS, we contacted the herbal clinic via their email and purchased the ALS herbal remedy, we received the herbal medicine via courier within 7 days and commenced usage as prescribed, its totally unexplainable how all the symptoms gradually dissapeared, my speech has greatly improved and am able to walk a distance now with no help, contact this herbal clinic via their email Or website

Just cured of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). I had been dealing with ALS for months and nothing happened. I was at my lowest and struggling with self-image issues due to Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ALS can strike anyone at anytime, regardless of age, gender, or ethnic origin and younger and older people develop the disease. It was a terrible experience without no cure, one day I stumbled upon a friend of mine who introduce natural remedy to me about this Clinic Health Med Lab Clinic and i contacted him through his email and following the instruction, now am free from the disease. You can reach through their email address

My mother was diagnosed with ALS in May 2014. Her doctor put her on riluzole, letting her know there was no cure but the medication might provide her a few more months of delayed symptoms. ALS progresses at different rates and affects different body parts first. My mother, being 80 at the time, fell into a category of what they call "fast progression" (older female). Her arms weakened first, then her hands, her mouth, and throat, and finally her lungs. Throughout her two-and-a-half-year ordeal, she was able to walk with assistance. All the while she continued to take the riluzole. If it bought my mother any time, we will never know. Her neurologist told us that if she couldn't afford it, there was no real need to take it. She lost touch with reality. Suspecting it was the medication I took her off the riluzole (with the doctor’s knowledge) and started her on the ALS natural herbal formula we ordered from GREEN HOUSE HERBAL CLINIC, We spoke to few people who used the treatment here in Canada and they all gave a positive response, her symptoms totally declined over a 7 weeks use of the Green House ALS disease natural herbal formula. She is now almost 84 and doing very well, the disease is totally reversed! (Visit their website ww w . Greenhouseherbalclinic . com) I am thankful to nature, herbs are truly gift from God. I will keep sharing more awareness, Share with friends!!

My ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) symptoms started out with a "foot drop" on my right foot. From there my right leg lost all muscle tone and after a while the entire right leg muscles were gone. Also my fingers and thumbs "contract" at times. Left arm was losing muscle tone too.The neurologist. started me on Riluzole , to reduce symptoms and slow down progression but I could not tolerate them for long due to severe side effects. I decided to adopt a more natural approach and started on ALS Disease Natural formula from THE HERBAL GARDENS, the ALS natural formula immensely helped my condition, it reversed my ALS. my slurred speech. And then the inability to eat without getting choked, strangled, and coughing. and others gradually disappeared. Visit THE HERBAL GARDENS via their official web-site ww w. Theherbalgardens. org. This ALS natural herbal formula has improved the quality of my life greatly, Since the procedure I enjoy walking the dog for my daily exercise. DON’T GIVE UP HOPE!!!

My brother David has been diagnose with ALS for a little more than a year. He showed signs of it for close to three years and no Doctor was able to figure out what was wrong, until my sister whom he had been living with kept trying to bring him to each doctor ---- finally found a doctor who recognised almost immediately that he had ALS. He has been taking medication that was made available to him only through a medical grant funding from those who have donated to the continuing research for a possible cure. He has slowed down in the progression, but without side affects. My hopes and prayers are that, you can also contact the Doctor for possible cure if you have ALS or any relative suffering for same disease here is their email