Florist, 57, Whose Agony Was Sent Back For FIVE Years, Found Deadly ‘Snake’ Parasite In Her Body

Florist, 57, whose agony was sent away for FIVE years, found a deadly ‘snake’ parasite in her body while becoming a detective with her own microscope

  • Frances Maynard had countless dates but no one could figure out what was wrong
  • It wasn’t until she checked her blood under a microscope that she found a ‘snake-like’ parasite in her body
  • Ms Maynard was given a powerful drug that eased some symptoms, but she may never recover
  • Talked about his experience giving strength to others suffering from “invisible” illnesses










A florist who developed a debilitating illness that left her bedridden and in constant pain had to turn detective to discover she had a potentially deadly parasite in her body.

Frances Maynard had countless appointments over five years as she moved between her GP, hospital doctors and specialists, but none of them could work out what was wrong .

It wasn’t until she decided to check her blood under a microscope that she made the terrifying discovery of a “snake-like” parasite in her body.

She was given powerful medicine which eased some symptoms – but while she may never fully recover, she was ‘relieved’ to have confirmed something was wrong.

Ms Maynard, 57, spoke of her experience giving strength to others suffering from ‘invisible’ illnesses.

She said she became “desperate to know if something was wrong because I wasn’t getting better” and the doctors couldn’t help me. She was ‘shocked but also extremely excited’ to find the parasite as it ‘proved that this pain was not imagined, as there were times when I doubted my own sanity’.

It wasn’t until Frances Maynard (pictured) decided to check her blood under a microscope that she made the horrifying discovery of a ‘snake-like’ parasite in her body

The mother-of-two, married to antiques dealer Mark, 60, ran a <a class=flower shop which folded overnight when she first developed symptoms as Mother’s Day approached in 2011. Pictured: The Parasite” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

The mother-of-two, married to antiques dealer Mark, 60, ran a flower shop which folded overnight when she first developed symptoms as Mother’s Day approached in 2011. Pictured: The Parasite

The mother-of-two, who is married to antiques dealer Mark, 60, ran a flower shop which folded overnight when she first developed symptoms ahead of Christmas Eve. mothers in 2011.

Ms Maynard, from Weeley Heath, Essex, said: ‘I had pain in my jaw, hands and legs. Throughout the day, I was not even sure that I could distribute the bouquets to the customers.

“I just managed to get through the day…I never went back to my business.”

The sharp pain that struck her left her with chronic fatigue, loss of fine motor skills in her hands needed to make bouquets and unable to stand.

Visits to A&E did not reveal the cause. Weeks turned into months and years as she was referred to various hospitals and specialists, including hematologists and endocrinologists.

It was only after reading about Lyme disease that she decided to revisit her childhood hobby of using a microscope. She invested £300 in an Indian model with 1000x magnification and put a few drops of her blood on the viewing slide.

“I didn’t expect to see anything. I moved the lens up and down, but then I saw something,” Ms Maynard said. Her GP ‘disdained’ her finding and refused to do more blood tests, but Ms Maynard insisted on being referred and was sent to Tropical Disease Hospital in London.

Ms Maynard, 57 (pictured), spoke of her experience giving strength to others with 'invisible' illnesses

Ms Maynard, 57 (pictured), spoke of her experience giving strength to others with ‘invisible’ illnesses

There it was confirmed to be strongyloidiasis, a disease caused by roundworm. Microscopic creatures normally enter the body through contact with soil before migrating into the bloodstream and organs.

It is unclear how Ms Maynard became infected with the parasite, which causes death in 90% of acute cases. It can live in the body for years without causing symptoms and she spent a year of her childhood in Bahrain with her military father. But she also thinks it could have arrived in the UK on imported exotic flowers.

Self-diagnosis in February 2016 earned her a dose of ivermectin, which interrupts the reproductive cycle by paralyzing the parasite, although Ms Maynard, now declared disabled, said success was not guaranteed.

“Sometimes I feel like I’m in some kind of remission – I have good days and bad days.” She remains ‘extremely angry and upset’ that doctors failed to identify the problem.

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