Beloved optometrist, Liana Engelbrecht, reaches out to the Newcastle community to save her life

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

After contracting Lyme’s Disease as a child, through a tick bite, beloved Newcastle optometrist, Liana Engelbrecht, now years on, is in a poor state of health and fighting for her life. 

After what can only be described as a rollercoaster of hospitals, misdiagnosis and immense pain—a new specialised treatment only found in Germany promises to give her a second chance at life. But, after running her own optometric practice, while in and out of hospitals, Liana says that with the challenges and bills piling up, the Newcastle community’s assistance would be a blessing. 

However, as Liana states, she is committed to those who step forward for her, with amazing holidays and prizes up for grabs for those who donate. But more on that shortly.

Rewinding, Liana explains that she has struggled with her health since childhood. She frequently endured unexplained nausea and fatigue. These bouts of illness were often followed by sudden turnarounds in health, before falling ill again. “My parents took me to various doctors, but there were no results, nor answers.”

With no answers on the horizon and years of confusion on the subject, things took a grave turn for Liana in June 2017, after she suddenly fell ill again. However, this time, she was unable to stand upright due to the pain. Deeply concerned and in bad shape, Liana underwent multiple tests, scans, gastroscopies, colonoscopies, sonars, and so forth. Yet, after all of this, still, no answers were found, except an incorrect diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Dealing with constant pain and trying to live with it, in July 2018, Liana received eight vaccinations in one week, as she prepared to go on a missionary outreach programme in Thailand. However, at the time of the vaccinations, Liana pointed out that she was on antibiotics for a middle-ear infection. Along with her current condition, this combination of medications had an adverse effect, making her extremely ill.

“A few days after the vaccines, I got admitted into the first hospital.” From August 2018 to December 2018, Liana visited approximately 12 hospitals throughout South Africa and saw roughly 16 Specialists, Doctors and Professors.

Undergoing multiple tests, she highlighted that nobody was able to make a correct diagnosis.

“By the end of December 2018, I could barely walk. I shuffled one foot in front of the other, and I had to walk with assistance. I could not sit or stand up on my own. I had severe pain in my knees and my knees were sore and swollen,” she said.

With her health dramatically deteriorating, she once again found herself in hospital, staying from the end of February 2019 to April 2019. Again, she went to various hospitals, different doctors, and did more tests. But still, no answers were found.

As her ailing body continued down a dark road, Liana was told in May 2019, that her frail health was due to her being psychosomatic and that everything was due to stress. Following this misdiagnosis, she was told that she should give up practicing as an Optometrist and sell her practice.  

With the days ticking on and numerous doctors not able to correctly diagnose Liana, her health continued to decline. 

Then in May 2019, Liana made headway in finding out what was wrong with her after hearing about Dr Cecile Jadin in Johannesburg. Dr Jadin diagnosed Liana with Lyme’s Disease, RickettsiaBilharziaChlamydia and Mycoplasma.

Armed with direction and answers, Dr Jadin immediately began treatment on Liana.“She started to treat me with antibiotics. Two different types of antibiotics for one week per month, that she would then alternate every month,” explained Liana. 

Sticking to the doctor’s orders, Liana completed the year-long antibiotic and Plasmoquine course. During this time, she still experienced relapses between her treatments. However, each relapse was worse and more intense than the previous. “I can feel how my body and mind deteriorate after each relapse,” stated Liana.

Then in July 2020, Liana developed Clostridium Difficile Colitis, which resulted in her being admitted to hospital on a regular basis from July 2020 to November 2020.

Dealing with the bacteria in her colon (Clostridium Difficile Colitis), Liana lost 10kg during this time. Complicating the matter even further, Liana also contracted COVID-19 in August 2020.

Throughout 2021, Liana’s already damaged health, continued to fail her. This saw her falling ill again by the end of February 2022 resulting in Liana being unable to return to work since. “I saw Dr Jadin again in March 2022, and she gave yet another series of antibiotics. The diarrhoea flared up again to every 20 min with vomiting in between and I still have diarrhoea.”

Liana is currently extremely ill and getting weaker by the day, with her describing her symptoms as overwhelming. These symptoms include the following:
  • Severe headaches
  • Severe nausea
  • Constant diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Severe Musculoskeletal pain, which leaves Liana crying from pain.
  • Vertigo
  • Severe fatigue
  • Severe brain fog
  • Muscle weakness
  • Severe pain in her hips, legs and back
  • Disorientation
  • Her eyesight is deteriorating daily
  • She is also becoming weaker by the day

Looking to the experience of Germany, she eventually found a credible solution. Liana has the opportunity to receive medical treatment at St George’s Hospital in Germany. The hospital has a time slot available for Liana’s treatment, which is from 18 June 2022 to 16 July 2022.

However, the costs involved in the treatment stands at a staggering R850 000.00

To get the funds needed in the time frame provided by the hospital, Liana and her family have obtained various phenomenal prizes for the raffles.

Prizes available are as follows:

  • A chalet that accommodates eight people at Drakensberg Kloof for a weekend. This prize is valued at R5 600.
  • Accommodation at Shilpaddop Private Game Reserve for two nights for eight people. This prize is valued at R7 200.
  • Two nights in Ballito for eight people, with this prize valued at R6 500.

Let us give this beloved Newcastillian her second chance at life. Donate and you could be relaxing in luxury.

The raffle tickets can currently be purchased at Liana Engelbrecht Optometrist, 6 Rietbok Avenue, Hutten Heights, Newcastle and will be available at other outlets soon.

Those wishing to make monetary donations can do so by depositing funds into the following bank account:

  • ABSA Bank
  • Account Name: TrustGod
  • Branch: Newcastle – 632 005
  • Account Number: 9371734117
  • Savings Account
  • Swift Code: ABSAZAJJ

With Liana Engelbrecht playing an instrumental role in the Newcastle community over the years, be sure to do your part during her time of need.

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