By SADIE WHITELOCKS Last updated at 6:27 PM on 17th January 2012:
A mother-of-three plagued by illness has told how her problems have been linked to an insect bite suffered 20 years ago.
Adelle Huckins, 31, has been blighted by a range of medical conditions including migraines, severe fatigue, sickness, hearing difficulties and a drooping left eye.
But it was only last year that she was able to understand the route of her failing health when medics diagnosed her with Lyme Disease, a bacterial infection carried by ticks.
She suddenly remembered a school trip to Germany in 1991 when she was 11-years-old, during which she was bitten on the leg by a tick.
Despite the bite causing a rash she thought nothing of it, but now she believes it is responsible for years of poor health, which have made her feel like she has the body of 'a 90-year-old'.
Mrs Huckins, of New Marske, Cleveland said: 'I was never the same after coming home from that trip. I couldn’t get better afterwards but they couldn’t find what was wrong with me.
For years medics were baffled by her catalogue of illnesses but it was only when she chanced upon Lyme Disease on the internet last year that she realised it could hold the key to her health problems.
A basic NHS test came back negative, so Mrs Huckins turned to the Nuffield Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne where results, sent off to a U.S. specialist, proved positive.