By Meghan Arnold
Shawn’s Lyme Story | Hopkins, Michigan
Living with Lyme disease doesn’t just affect one person. It can change the lives of entire families.
Jason and Sharon, Shawn’s parents, live in southwest Michigan where they homeschool their three children. Last April, their son Shawn had experienced a bad few days. It was quickly followed by their worst nightmare.
“He came out of his room and just whispered, ‘I don’t feel good,” Sharon explained. “Little did I know that would change our world forever.”
At the time, Shawn was 15 years old — a highly motivated student and basketball player. Not only did Shawn play for a local high school team, he was also playing for the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), a nationwide league.
That simple “I don’t feel good” quickly evolved into months of agony.
He experienced piercing pain in his side, digestive issues, insomnia, and fatigue. On top of all of that, he could barely eat. Sharon and Jason quickly took Shawn to the doctor to get to the root of the problem, but didn’t find any answers, in spite of the barrage of tests he underwent.
“The doctors kept taking blood to do all these tests, but really didn’t do anything about it once they got the results,” Sharon said. “The doctors wouldn’t even consider Lyme. At one point, they wanted to do a CT scan, but his body was so fragile and they had taken so much blood, I don’t think his body could have handled that.”
After consulting with a friend, a kidney specialist, they decided not to get the CT scan. They feared that would worsen Shawn’s condition.
In the first months of Shawn’s illness, Sharon and Jason took turns staying awake all night to take care of him and keep him company.
The whole family was affected.
“It was horrible because we didn’t know what we were dealing with.” Jason said. “Mentally, he was just despairing. He couldn’t sleep because of the pain. Our hope was waning. It was a very dark time for all of us.”
Finally, they found a clinic that made a definitive diagnosis. Shawn had contracted Lyme disease. It was severely affecting his liver, causing dangerously high levels of toxicity.
“When our kids were small, we did a lot of backpacking and camping,” Sharon said. “There was plenty of opportunity for ticks to attach to all of us. We live in the country and have woods all around us.”
“Shawn loves being outdoors,” Jason said. “Looking back, he was in woods a lot last March, around a month before his symptoms started showing. It’s hard to know when he got the tick bite that caused all of this damage.”
Once they knew what they were dealing with, the family sprang into action.
“When we healed his liver, we took to the Internet in search of a natural solution for his Lyme,” said Sharon. “That’s when we found Dr. Rawls and his herbs.”
Jason and Sharon started Shawn on Dr. Rawls’ herbal protocol and, within just a few short months, they started to see the Shawn they knew coming back.
“The emails were so helpful,” Sharon said. “Shawn’s diet changed drastically. He was forced into a new diet because of how his body was reacting to food. The emails and program broke all of that down easily and helped us adapt to that change.”
“When you’re in a situation like that, you just start to experiment with eliminating things to see what works,” said Jason. “One by one, we got rid of things in his diet and we eventually found a diet that would help him, instead of harm him. We eliminated gluten and dairy completely.”
“Shawn now knows that eating the right foods can make him feel better.”
“Shawn also saw a man who did Qi Gong massage on him and taught him some Qi Gong exercises — he did those religiously during his recovery,” Sharon said. “I know those exercises were also instrumental to regaining his health.”
From the onset of his illness in April of 2016, six months later in November of that same year, Shawn had fully recovered.
“Antibiotics didn’t help — Dr. Rawls did,” Sharon said. “I know where we were, and the herbal protocol was the only thing that gave us hope.”
Shawn, now 16, is feeling better than ever.
“He has rejoined the AAU basketball league and is playing his heart out again,” said Sharon. “I never thought I’d see that again when he was so sick. We are beyond thankful.”