IN MEMORY....we have loved you with all our are remembered!


Brittany Gallagher Born: 18th July 1989 Passed Away: 11th February 2007
Birth Place: Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Lyme disease is a growing problem
KAHB-TV, Kansas City, MO
By: Paige Heyward
And it’s frustrating that doctors often don’t even mention it to their patients. “One of the most common calls I get from other physicians is when their child is bitten by a tick. Then they are worried about it, not worried about it until it comes to their household,” Dr. Brewer said. 
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – If you are planning a picnic, a trip to the lake, or plan to send your kids to summer camp to ride horses, hunt or play golf you need to be aware of a growing problem. It’s something your doctor may not even know about. “She was just so full of life and energy,” mother Hattie Gallgher said. Britteny Gallgher will be remembered as the girl who loved live, even though life had been hard for her.“She had a lot of strength and courage,” Hattie said. Britteny needed all the strength and courage she could muster as she battled a debilitating disease. "It almost seemed with every organ. It was one after another,” Hattie said Three years ago, the happy teenager developed horrible symptoms, including bowel problems, her eyes became permanently dilated. She was constantly tired, but she couldn’t sleep.“Just suffering, just pain you cannot believe,” father Terry Gallgher said.But doctor after doctor couldn’t find the cause, not to mention a cure. “You just want to hold her, and you say ‘I don’t know what to do,” Terry said.Finally, Britteny got the right test, the test that detected Lyme disease, and even though she underwent intense treatment, it was too late. She died last February.“I could have gotten it tons of times,” Rebekah Rauckman said.One of Britteny’s friends, Rebekah, 16, was diagnosed early enough to recover. But, she’s so tired she can’t attend school full-time and has a long list of debilitating symptoms.“I have stomach problems, headaches, nausea,” Rebekah said.Many doctors in the metro don’t recognize Lyme disease when they see it. That’s because many people think it’s a disease that only strikes in the woods of the Northeast.The few doctors that treat Lyme disease in Kansas City say it’s a dangerous assumption to ...make. “That's the whole problem. Unrecognized, undiagnosed,” Dr. Joseph Brewer said. Dr. Brewer at St. Luke’s Hospital says Lyme disease can be easily cured in its early stage. It is spread by the bite of a tick. “Clearly people pick it up here,” Dr. Brewer said.According to the Lyme Association of Greater Kansas City, there are at least 1,000 cases across the metro.One tick bite can result in infection spanning three stages.Early symptoms may include: 
•A bulls eye rash at the bite  •Joint pain and fatigue Later symptoms include: •Memory Loss •Personality Changes •Organ Failure
In cases, like Britteny’s, it can result in death. “There’s so much of this around now,” Dr. Brewer said.He says people can pick it up at the Lake of the Ozarks, at scout camp, riding horses, playing with dogs or hunting. You can even get it from deer that feed in your backyard.“It's very difficult to go someplace and mention it and somebody doesn't know someone who has it,” Dr. Brewer said.
And it’s frustrating that doctors often don’t even mention it to their patients. “One of the most common calls I get from other physicians is when their child is bitten by a tick. Then they are worried about it, not worried about it until it comes to their household,” Dr. Brewer said.
He says patients need to be their own advocates. “They should be vigilant and not listen to ‘oh there's none of it around here’ because that’s simply not true,” Dr. Brewer said.“She's always in our hearts and she'll always be there,” Terry said.Despite Britteny’s extreme suffering, she was grateful for her life and spiritual until the end. “The lord is my strength and my song. She wrote it on her mirror in lipstick,” Hattie said.Her parents want to use her strength to warn others about the disease that claimed their daughter. “We just want to save another family from going through what we went through. When you see a kid suffer for three years and lose them for no reason its mind boggling, it’s frustrating, it’s angering,” Terry said.The Gallgher’s have two other children, T.J. and Lexi. They believe Britteny would have wanted them to speak out.

Brittany received a scholarship to the pre-med program at Arizona State and the University of Arizona and planned to major in Pediatric
Cardiology in the fall. Brittany enjoyed shopping, volunteering at COR, driving her Jeep,traveling, salsa dancing, Sushi, and collecting Betty Boop Dolls.!msg/alt.obituaries/YaWTyPOX0gw/xNeHwMBtZmYJ

Vernon Dale Kyle, 55, Garnett, Kansas

Vernon Dale Kyle liked a good story. Mostly about catfishing on a long-forgotten Kansas lake. He was born Sept 24, 1955 in Garnett, Kansas. He had one best friend in those early days, and it was Don. They roamed the Kansas prairie like the buffalo, wild and free! He was raised by Chester and Edna Kyle with one brother and one sister, Jim and Aletha. Vernon went into the US Army 82nd Airborne division and it wasn’t long before he took his turn in Vietnam in 1974, then on to Germany. He re-enlisted into the US Army Veterinary Corps stationed at Ft. Ord, then to an outpost in San Diego, California. He met Peggy Miller and they married at Cabrillo National Monument at the Lighthouse overlooking the ocean. After discharge, he moved to Tulsa, OK where his two awesome kids were born, Jamie Lynn in 1985 and Jesse Dale in 1988. Vernon went to college and became a journeyman welder and stationary engineer. He specialized in boilers and high pressure systems, and stainless steel welding. He loved coin collecting, nature, and decorative engraving. He returned to Garnett, Kansas in the early 1990’s to support his mother when his father was ill. He was employed at the Anderson County School District in the maintainence department until suddenly he became too ill to work in October 2007. He was life-flighted twice to the KC hospitals and in ICU and on a rehabilitation unit for five months.Vernon’s illness was bacterial in origin, his family was told by the doctors in Kansas City. When he received IV antibiotics, he thrived. When the doctors took away the antibiotics, he began to fail. The doctors would never identify the name of the bacteria that was trying to take Vernon’s life. He had symptoms like abcesses in his abdomen and near his lung and kidney, foot pain, rashes similar to a bartonella rash, and little red dots on his body, memory loss, dizziness, joint pain, loss of feeling in his hands, feet, loss of use of fine motor skills, difficulty processing any information, body jerks (myoclonus and severe muscle cramps) and seizures. As time went on he experienced intense bone pain from a collapsing spinal cord, and lost about 6 inches in height. One doctor his family consulted said that Lyme disease and bartonella can cause the bone to not have blood supply and oxygen due to excessive fibrin production in the blood. As time progressed, Vernon needed oxygen, had an intermittent low heart rate of 40, would pass out. He became a diabetic and experienced hepatitis and kidney failure. By the way, his cat died of tick-borne illness.He could never understand the “controversy" over Lyme disease.  Even though other family members were eventually diagnosed with Lyme disease, he was never tested by his doctors, simply because they refused. Additionally, after numerous hospitalizations, he was denied long term antibiotics by infectious disease doctors in the hospital and his physicians in the community, and was denied testing when his family directly asked for Lyme testing using specialty laboratories. More than three years of advocacy efforts failed on his behalf.During one hospitalization, his family asked the infectious disease doctor, “Can you help him? His family has Lyme disease, will you test him?” That Infectious Disease doctor said, “No,” firmly, immediately turned his back and walked out of the room. The doctor discharged Vernon the next morning. But Vernon had to laugh when this same, bright, Infectious Disease doctor actually said, “There are no ticks in Kansas.”Several times Vernon was too sick to leave the hospital and care for himself.  Even in his weakened condition, once the hospital sent him home in a taxi without any home nursing!  His insurance wouldn’t pay any more for his care. Not even Adult Protective Services would intervene, even after many calls.Vernon learned NOT to mention Lyme disease to anyone. No one was willing to test and treat him for Lyme disease and bartonella. Not the Veteran’s Administration hospital, not the big medical centers in Kansas City, nor his local doctor. But they were all perfectly willing to let him suffer and die from tick-borne illnesses. Ultimately, he lost the war.Vernon was left by his doctors to debilitate, and after losing balance, he had repeated traumatic brain injuries from falling. He later was able to get assistance through the TBI waiver program, but after many calls for a higher level of care, even this system failed him. His family later discovered that he had gone a month without a bath, and often didn’t have food or water, and went to the hospital on his birthday after he collapsed from carbon monoxide poisoning from his furnace.Thankfully, he was with family that day and he was admitted for another time in the ICU. Yet those medical professionals who were suppose to care for him, didn’t. Every time his family would try to get help for him, those in charge would fight his family. They even refused to help him to apply for full Veteran’s benefits as a Vietnam veteran, and he often suffered from not having enough money to live. He took it well. He kept his doctors laughing even when he knew they were going to let him die. He lived with the courage of a warrior, and endured and persevered through unrelenting pain to the end, which came on Sunday, October 3, 2010. He left a good example of courage under fire, and joy in the midst of sorrow. At his memorial service, his son-in-law recited “Invictus,” The more his body was crushed by Lyme disease and bartonella, the sweeter and more loving he became. He had given his heart to his Savior, Jesus Christ, rather late in life, and it was evident that his life had changed.He is already greatly missed by the love of his life, Peggy, and his children, siblings, and neighbors and friends. Now he is truly free, and we are sure he is fishing in heaven and that he caught the biggest fish this time! 

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