Penticton woman on the path to recovery from Lyme disease

For Sheri Souch, the journey down the long road to recovery from Lyme disease appears to be nearing its end.

Sheri Souch and daughter Belize share a laugh outside their Kaleden home this week. After years of battling Lyme disease

Sheri Souch and daughter Belize share a laugh outside their Kaleden home this week. After years of battling Lyme disease

For Sheri Souch, the journey down the long road to recovery from Lyme disease appears to be nearing its end.

For the past six years the elementary school teacher and mother of two from Kaleden has fought to cope with the devastating and often debilitating symptoms of the illness which, at its worst, left her bedridden and hoping her life of torment would end.

“All I prayed for was that I could just get up in the morning and be with my kids because for many months couldn’t even get out of bed,” she said. “I thought I would never get better. I hoped I would get better but it was just so overwhelming and I was thinking either end it all now or get me better. It was just horrible.”

Like many others with the disease, Souch not only had to contend with the severe problems associated with the condition, but with a medical administration nightmare.

Despite exhibiting the textbook symptoms of the three stages of Lyme disease, the doctors she visited did not believe that was what the problem was, telling her Lyme did not exist in B.C.

The illness is caused by a spirochaete-type bacterium transmitted by two varieties of tick which are more prevalent in other parts of Canada and B.C, but do exist in the Okanagan.

Symptoms are also similar to other conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s which can also impact the diagnosis.

Canada has a two-tier testing system for Lyme. However, when Souch’s results to the first came back negative, she said she was denied the second.

It wasn’t until going to a Washington State laboratory Souch received what she felt was the correct diagnosis. She got the proper medication and began to see improvement, bringing Souch to her current state of health.

“At one point I couldn’t have even imagined that I would get to where I am now, which is symptom free, able to train again, able to work full time,” she said. “It’s so corny, but it’s so true, you just feel like, ‘oh, I’ve got my life back, this is it, I’ve got another chance to live my life.’ I’m more busy now that before I was sick, I just so much appreciate being healthy again.”

West Kelowna’s Jim Wilson is someone else who had a similar experience after he became infected in 1991 and for years struggled to get the proper diagnosis and treatment.

His frustration with the entire process and the medical community in particular led him to establish the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation (CanLyme) in 2003.

“Lyme disease is on the rise in Canada, yet treatment and public awareness are largely inadequate,” said Wilson. “CanLyme is dedicated to raising awareness and promoting Lyme research, education and treatment.”

He added that while there have been some overall improvements in the Canadian health care system relating to Lyme, much more work remains to be done to bring levels to where he believes they should be to properly diagnose and treat the illness.

Penticton residents will have an opportunity to learn more about the illness, particularly prevention, this Tuesday when Wilson will be the guest speaker at the Penticton Museum Brown Bag Lecture Series at the museum/library auditorium beginning at noon. Cost for those wanting to listen is by donation and free coffee is served.

During the hour-long presentation, Wilson will outline a lot of the facts and myths surrounding the disease with the overall goal to show people that the best defence to not winding up where he and others have, is knowledge about what to do and not what to do.

This is particularly important now because — although Lyme can be contracted at any time of the year — the spring and early summer are particularly bad times for infection.

For more information about the disease go to or

Just Posted

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News file)
One dead after fiery Okanagan Connector crash between two semis

DriveBC estimates road won’t be open until 5 p.m.

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Turn out is high in advance voting for the Penticton by election taking place Saturday, June 19, 2021. (Screen shot)
Over 2,500 already voted in Penticton by-election

General voting day is Saturday, June 19

The City of Penticton is beginning plans to revitalize its north entrance on Highway 97. (Jesse Day - Western News)
Penticton reviewing ideas on how to make the city’s north gateway more vibrant

The city has plans to redevelop the area into a welcoming and attractive entrance

People decided to tag Skaha Bluffs rocks which the Ministry has to go in and now clean up. (Facebook)
Bluffs at popular Penticton rock climbing park defaced

Ministry of Environment is going to clean it up

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media stock photo)
RCMP name 2015 homicide victim near Creston, investigation ongoing

26-year-old Clint Wolfleg was found dead in a private residence on May 31, 2015

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits to failing to supervise his staff and find, report the shortage

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to collect donations ahead of Kristy Handel’s 33-kilometre run for Chelaine McInroy (pictured) to cover costs for a new prosthetic leg after her June 12, 2021, surgery. (GoFundMe)
Friend running to raise funds for Armstrong woman’s new prosthetic leg

33-km Run for Chelaine to help athlete cover medical costs from latest surgery

The Okanagan Eatery owner Chelsea Enns brings with her years of front-of-house and management experience to Vernon’s newest restaurant. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)
Vernon’s newest restaurant serves up Okanagan eats

Trio brings passion for locally sourced dishes and smash burgers to the table

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

The Summerland branch of the Royal Canadian Legion has cancelled its Canada Day celebrations for 2020 because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Summerland Review file photo)
Summerland Legion cancels Canada Day events

Pandemic restrictions led to decision on annual celebration

Fire near Highway 97 C close to Merritt. (Facebook)
Wildfire burning near Highway 97C

The fire is an estimated nine hectares in size

Athena and Venus, ready to ride. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Goggling double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to B.C. commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Most Read