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:
amoxicillin, and flagyl, before
starting Claforan by IV. Nothing
made the headache go away. He
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
FAMILY DOCTOR: Lyme disease a problem in Midwest
Friday, April 28, 2006 PETER GOTT
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.