BINGHAMTON, NY – The long saga of a former Binghamton family’s battle with Lyme disease has inspired a new bill in the New York State Legislature.
The Demos Ford Act is named for a 10 year-old boy who contracted Lyme disease at the age of 4 while living in the City of Binghamton.
However, his family didn’t know the cause of his severe pain and bleeding until after 2 and a half years of visiting experts at prestigious medical clinics across the Northeast.
The Demos Ford Act, which is co-sponsored by State Senator Fred Akshar and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, would establish protocols to guide health care providers in diagnosing and treating Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses.
Ford’s mother DLouisa says she doesn’t want other families to go through what they went through.
“I clearly knew he was sick. I saw him unable to walk at times. I have pictures of him in the middle of Wegman’s laying on the floor because he was in so much pain. We just kept getting, we don’t know, we don’t know, we don’t know. It was gut-wrenching. At the time, he was 4 and 5 going through that,” said DLouisa.
“Many people don’t know what Lyme Disease is and don’t know if they have it. I think it will help lots of kids and lots of parents who have Lyme Disease,” says Lyme Disease sufferer Demos Ford.
After Demos got to see Lyme experts, his symptoms became manageable.
However, insurance only covered the initial course of antibiotics, which at his advance stage, wasn’t enough for Demos.
The Ford family was then forced to spend thousands of dollars out of pocket to cover his treatment.
According to the state health department, the numbers of Lyme cases in the Southern Tier grew by 424% from 2012 to 2017.