Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lyme teen dies from accident

Lyme disease: For years, the effects of Lyme disease wouldn't allow Rob Leavens to skateboard because it was too painful.

Rob Leavens contracted Lyme disease at age 14 but was misdiagnosed for two years after testing negative for the disease until the family sought a specialist in Maryland who correctly diagnosed him, Jim Leavens said.

"He struggled mightily from the symptoms of Lyme disease," Jim Leavens said. "It affected his emotions and cognitive ability."

Rob Leavens suffered intense headaches, was hospitalized twice and would become frustrated that he couldn't remember to complete tasks or be a carefree teenager, Jim Leavens said.

The disease had such ill effects that Rob Leavens missed an extensive amount of school, and he finally withdrew from York Suburban School District.

However, with proper treatment, the younger Leavens was becoming his old thoughtful and compassionate self and was looking to the future as he began to talk about getting his GED and going to college, Jim Leavens said.

On the day Rob Leavens died, he did two things he hadn't done in a long time. He went to a mall with a friend and bought vitamin supplements to counteract Lyme disease and a long-sleeved button shirt, a deviation from the T-shirts he normally wore.

The second thing he did was go skateboarding, Jim Leavens said.

"This was the first time he felt up to skateboarding in a very long time," he said.

 In lieu of flowers, his family asks an honor donation be made to the International Lyme and Associate Disease Society, http:/

Jim Leavens said he doesn't blame his son or Royer for what happened but rather blames Lyme disease, which affected Rob Leavens' motor skills, balance and reasoning.

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