Sick woman robbed in US forced to come home over €7k monthly bills

Denise Ryan

Ryan Nugent

A sick Dublin woman who was robbed when she was being treated in the US has had to come home because she can't pay her medical bills.

Denise Ryan had been living in Seattle for three months, where she was being treated for Lyme disease.

Even though donations came flooding in after it was reported she had €6,000 skimmed from her bank account in the US, her treatment there was still too expensive.

Denise moved back to her parents' home last week, but that has also brought fresh problems. An inspection of the house revealed mould in the attic, near to her bedroom.

Denise has contracted a number of different infections because of the Lyme disease. With a weakened immune system it's vital that the mould is removed.

"I was told that if I just got the mould taken away in the attic it'd just come back again. So I'd need to get it totally re-insulated," she told the Herald.

"I've nowhere else to live at the moment, and with the mould just above my bedroom, it's a real issue because I'm bed-bound for most of the day."

The cost of medication is putting a massive strain on her family and the illness leaves Denise with no quality of life.

"I'm taking around 20 pills every day and then another 10 vitamin tablets on top of that," she said.

"I'd take any pill every day for the rest of my life if I could just have my life back."

Her doctors wanted Denise to stay in the US for at least another two months. However, Denise's monthly medical bills were between €6,000 and €7,000 and she just couldn't afford it.


More than €44,000 has been raised for Denise in the past 18 months, but she now only has enough to last a month.

There is no sufficient expertise available to treat Lyme disease here, and her only option is to consult with her US doctors by phone, at a cost of €250 an hour.

The 30-year old, who thinks she might have contracted the disease years ago while living in Canada, said she hopes to organise a pub quiz to raise enough money to fix the attic.

Donations can be made to Denise at