Yesterday afternoon I learned that the Lyme, and Cancer, world lost a true hero and advocate. When I opened up my computer all my social media was ablaze with the news. It was like a kick in the gut to read that Dr. Neil Spector lost his valiant battle with complications due to Epstein-Barr Virus.
Dr. Spector was the author of “Gone in a Heartbeat: A Physician’s Search for True Healing” which is an excellent book about his search for answers to his health issues and subsequent heart transplant due to misdiagnosed Lyme disease. Those struggling with health issues, and all health care professionals, should read his book. The perspective of a well-respected doctor dealing with Lyme should be eye-opening to all.
The book review states:
“As he recounts his own unorthodox approach to medicine and physician/patient relationships, Dr. Spector encourages readers to never surrender their power to a third party. He tells of courageous patients who served as role models, he conceded that doctors do a disservice to patients when ‘we treat them like statistics,’ and he advocates for educated patients who can make informed decisions collaboratively and not simply follow instructions.”
Having been ignored, minimized, criticized, and thought of as a middle aged, menopausal woman, rather than someone dealing with actual health issues, I can say with certainty that Dr. Spector’s book and he, himself, made me truly understand what I was up against.
I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Spector speak several years ago at a Lyme Conference in Augusta, Maine. I was able to speak to him briefly and have him autograph his book for me. I took the trip to Augusta to specifically hear him speak. It was worth the trip. He was an amazing speaker and human being who worked tirelessly to help others.
Over the last few years I reached out to him a few times with questions which he quickly answered, with detailed information. Reading some of the posts over the last day I realize he did this for many, even though he was still working, researching, speaking, and dealing with his own health issues. Not many people would do that.
I’m still having difficulty processing that he is actually gone and coming up with the appropriate words. Therefore, I’m going to end with a video of one of his interviews that was undertaken three years ago by Fox5NY for their series Lyme and Reason – https://youtu.be/Ja9iflckw-Y.