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Thieves skim €6k from sick woman's funds


Denise Ryan who suffers with Lyme disease.

Denise Ryan who suffers with Lyme disease.

Denise Ryan who suffers with Lyme disease.

An IRISH woman has had €6,000 that needed to pay for treatment for a "life-threatening" illness skimmed from her bank card in the US.

Denise Ryan (30), from Rathfarnham, Co Dublin, who is currently in Seattle receiving treatment for Lyme Disease, and has been left with just €3 in her account.

"I honestly can't believe this has happened, I didn't think things could get any worse.

"I don't understand how thieves do this to people. I can't help but wonder if they knew the situation, would they still take it?" she told the Herald.

She contracted Lyme Disease while living in Canada, and due to a late diagnosis, her condition eventually reached "life-threatening" stages.

An online campaign has so far raised €43,000 for Denise.

However, a card containing part of her much-needed fund to pay for doctors' appointments, treatment and prescriptions has since been skimmed, leaving her with just €3 to her name. Up to €6,000 was taken out of her account over the last week.

"These people are absolutely disgusting," she said.

"I had set up a new account to transfer the money from my gofundme account (the online charity account) so that it would be kept separate and safe. I got a new bank card for it to use at the clinic and pharmacy.

"But I checked it at 9am on Sunday morning, and the balance was just over €3.

"My heart literally stopped for a second," she added.

"All the bank said was that it can take up to three weeks for the investigation, with no promise that I will be able to recover the funds.

"I tried explaining that I'm away and have no money. They said I could ask the bank for an overdraft, but then if I couldn't get the stolen money back, I would just be in a pile of debt on top of things," she said.

"I feel so guilty too, it was so incredibly kind of everyone to donate those funds.

"I wanted to hopefully have a heart-warming success story for them and to come home in a better position and be on my way to regaining my health," she added.

Denise previously told the Herald how her illness has become so severe that it leaves her with "no quality" of life.

"I'm going bald, I've no energy. I can't enjoy time with my friends or go out so if I don't get the treatment in time it may be too late," she said.

Through a donation website she set-up - http://www.gofundme.com/3000tenners - hundreds of good-Samaritans contributed money towards Denise's treatment.