Harry Hartner, 62

Harry Hartner of Manhattan, Kansas, died on Jan. 26, at the age of 62, after suffering from Lyme disease and terrible headaches for almost 4 years. He had been on an IV antibiotic for 4 weeks. He had a bad Herxheimer reaction from the drug, which was causing a severe headache that wasnít relieved by medication, severe insomnia which was continuing for several days in a row, severe depression, and severe thinking problems. He took his own life. Harry had several tick bites in May of 2000 after working in his pasture and became ill shortly after that. He contin-ued to suffer from chronic fatigue and headaches, and he kept getting fevers. His wife Karen suspected it was Lyme disease, but they were told by doctors that people canít get Lyme disease in Kansas. The following year, in May, 2001, he was in his pasture again and was bitten by several more ticks. He became ill just 16 hours later, with a high fever. This time he was treated with 3 weeks of doxycycline. He continued to suffer from a severe headache and depression and went from doctor to doctor for two more years, undergoing numerous tests which didnít help. He finally saw a Lyme disease doctor in July of 2003 and began antibiotic treatment on August 1. He and his wife joined the Kansas City Lyme Association in September. Harry took oral medications: clindamycin, quinine, amoxicillin, and flagyl, before starting Claforan by IV. Nothing made the headache go away. He became discouraged. Harry leaves his wife Karen; a son, Keith Hartner; 2 daughters, Hilary Wahlen and Kayleen Classen; one sister; and 2 grand-daughters. Harryís family wants to prevent this tragedy from happening to other people. They are trying to get the word out that Lyme disease is in Kansas.

FAMILY DOCTOR: Lyme disease a problem in Midwest Friday, April 28, 2006 PETER GOTT Mp> Q: I was informed by the Lyme Association of Greater Kansas City, an organization of which I am a member, that you wrote in one of your columns that Lyme disease is not a problem in the Midwest. I would ask that you please stop spreading this myth.

My father, a Kansas farmer, got Lyme disease over six years ago. He never traveled out of state, so we know he was infected in Kansas.

Unfortunately, he remained undiagnosed for three years because many doctors believe Lyme is not in Kansas. After enduring four years of terrible pain that caused him to stop farming, he committed suicide. Since his death, my mission is to prevent this tragedy from happening to other families.

It is my firm belief that if he had gotten the proper treatment early on, he would still be with us today.

Again, I ask you to please reconsider your statement. Many people in the Midwest are suffering needlessly as a result of improper treatment because of the lie that Lyme is not a significant problem in the Midwest.