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Heather’s Personal Story: Battle with Disease

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Unexplained Illness

A day after her wedding, Heather Bickel Stevenson dropped to the ground with an unexplained illness. Becoming suddenly bedbound, she was unable to sleep, function properly, or complete her job duties as a Registered Nurse (RN). For months, all she heard from healthcare professionals (18 of them, specifically) was that she was too stressed and that it was “all in her head.” 

Prior to getting sick, Heather was working as an RN at Esperanza Health Center in Philadelphia, where she was doing home visits with over 200 patients living with HIV and working on a team creating a Health Promoter Program. 

This program ran for ten weeks, twice a year. Heather and her team worked intensively with members of the community and taught them everything they needed to know about health including, how to perform basic first aid and when to refer people to the doctor or send them to the Emergency Room. 

Heather’s team also taught the health promoters how to take charge of their own health, becoming an example for holistic health in the community. They realized, after seeing community engagement, that their actions spoke louder than words. 

Heather was living out everything she had taught her health promoters, but she knew her body. And something was seriously wrong.

Reaching a Diagnosis

In 2013, after a year of unexplainable pain, suffering, and confusion, Heather’s doctor diagnosed her with Mono, mold toxicity, Lyme Disease, and two co-infections (the simultaneous infection of a host by multiple pathogen species). 

Frankly, the doctors were shocked she was still alive. 

Immediately, Heather was put on a health plan that included 50 supplements and medications. Some helped. And some had awful side effects, making matters worse. 

At this point, the continuous sickness and confusion about what was going on with her body was beginning to get to Heather.

“There were some really, really dark days,” she recalls. “Being stuck in bed day after day, I found myself thinking, 'Is this how I will live the rest of my days?'”

A Light in The Tunnel

After moving out of their mold-infested apartment, Heather and her husband, Jeremy, decided to pursue a well-known and sought-after Lyme doctor across the country in San Diego. It was there that she became her own health advocate and began the body and mind work needed to live in whole health. 

While it was the hardest thing she ever recalls doing, she singled out the supplements that were working for her and began to heal. 

For five years, Heather had her life back.

Back to Square One

In 2020, Heather got sick again. This time, she was diagnosed with POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) and was once again exposed to her biggest allergen, mold. She began to experience chronic fatigue, outlet dysfunction, and peripheral neuropathy, and was once again bed-bound. 

Just as before, dozens of doctors were at a loss for words. They were unsure of the cause of her sudden illness, let alone a method of treatment. 

Heather and Jeremy began to record her symptoms on a spreadsheet and leaned on the supplements they could trust, creating their own health plan. 

Just as before, she began to heal.

Where is she now?

Following her sickness in 2020 and her subsequent healing, Heather found a passion for helping others. Now, she is a lifestyle and wellness coach and works frequently with those looking for support along various journeys in life. 

“I have the biggest heart when it comes to helping those who suffer with health issues,” Heather says. “Whether it be acute or chronic, a single issue, or multiple things, I just long to help people see their value and worth and to see people have hope again. That’s what I needed when I was in that place of my life.”

 

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If you are interested in working with Heather or know someone who should meet Heather, book a FREE, 15-minute consultation here. No matter the distance, you don’t have to walk alone.