A Father’s Heart Felt Story About Lyme Disease With His Son

Read The Amazing Story of Recovery From Lyme Disease

John Before Lyme Diseasejohn branch Lyme Diseasejohn after dr sponaugles treatment

|    Before Lyme        |        During Lyme       |     After Treatment    |


Jimmy Branch ( Father ) Explains With A Recent Response And Explanation By Dr. Sponaugle

Fathers Written Story:

Dr. Rick Sponaugle Brings Young Man Out Of Lyme Coma

A successful year of college, a cute girlfriend, and a sport truck – life was good for 20 year old John Branch. Youngest of 5 children, a secure family life, living at home, it takes a lot to rock your boat. Never sick, never any drugs…life was easy. However, a perfect storm of genetic and environmental conditions was brewing. Below the surface of our awareness, conditions that would steal and destroy John’s life, health and personality were coming together.


John’s athleticism hid the genetics which weakened his immune response to mold toxicity and lyme infection (HLA-DR genes for 25% of the population). He carried in his blood 10 times the level of toxicity for tricothecenes and ochratoxin, two of the invisible gases emitted by mold. Tricothecene has been used for bio-chemical warfare; It shuts down the entire immune system. His brain had been battered by 8 years of playing football, making his already sensitive frontal lobe even more vulnerable to infections and toxicity.


Storm conditions worsen. An infected insect bite on his neck and persistent rash, sent John to the doctor for a week of antibiotics. The antibiotics delay for 4 months, a meningo-encelphalitic event that was to announce this storm with absolute fear, trepidation and confusion. Photophobia, extreme headache, seizure-like tongue contusion, and out of control self-destructive behavior lands John handcuffed in a ambulance. “He’s on meth and going to jail,” announces the victorious deputy sheriff. An hour later, when John wakes up in the ER…un-aware of what had transpired, the cop capitulates, but still places him under the Baker Act for one night in the local psyche ward.


His perfect storm had manifested and was followed by months of catatonia, schizophrenia, autism, 9 months of different hospitalizations, psyche wards, and dozens of doctors. With health insurance, disability, hospital write offs and over $250,000 out-of-pocket, his bills exceeded $1,000,000. Our healthy, athletic son became a disheveled, helpless, mindless caricature of his former self.


He had been hospitalized at University of Alabama at Birmingham initially. Evidence of encephalitis was found in his spinal tap. Signs of infection demanded short term antibiotics, but no diagnostic lab could pinpoint the cause. This was to become the pattern for every hospital the next four years. When we notified UAB two weeks after our stay that John had two positive elisas and a 5 band, very positive, western blot from our local walk in clinic, they had a difficult time accepting the diagnosis. “There’s no lyme in the South,” one doctor explained. Part of the storm that formed for John, included a medical/political/insurance issue that can get you diagnosed a hypochondriac and your doctor persecuted like a quack.


In 2010, while on 9 months of daily IV antibiotics, John becomes cationic for 3 months. We learned to feed him with a straw adapted as a pipet until he was placed on a feeding tube. We eventually sought help at New York Presbyterian at Cornell. We knew of a lyme-psyche researcher at NYP Columbia and had hoped for some awareness of lyme, or at least better testing, at Cornell. I guess our dramatic story of driving straight from Florida to NY for help, got around the hospital. One of the neurologists sarcastically told us in front of 6 other doctors: “You couldn’t have gotten any closer to Brian Fallon (from Columbia) if you had driven to Miami instead of New York.” The months of oral and IV antibiotics, biofilm development, and tissue sequestration, must have hidden all the bacteria. John was serologically negative according to the primary lab tests and all of his symptoms were psychological. Psyche wards became our only “harbor of medical hope” for two years.


Psyche drugs were of little help. But the psyche realm offered electro-convulsive therapy. Those shock treatments woke him up for two 5 months periods…enough to regain his driver’s license, re-enter school, and buy some time for lyme treatment from non-traditional lyme doctors. Then he would relapse, not to a coma, more of a deep autistic-zombie-mute state. The psyche docs thought he was depressed. The lyme doctors saw infections by lab secondary markers un-known to traditional doctors. Finally, after 2 years, the psyche-ECT doctor gave up. The ECT worked only temporarily to detox John’s brain. Then we found Sponaugle Wellness Institute.


Dr. Sponaugle recognized, John had a toxic lobotomy. He knew what labs were necessary to identify John’s infections. He also understood how to penetrate the biofilms that were sequestering John’s mold, bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. With four years of immuno-suppression equal to that of an aids patient, John had developed several complications besides lyme and mold: babesia, bartonella, 6 viruses, FL1953 bacteria, candida fungus, morgellons, worms and parasites. From day one, Dr S. knew more about John’s brain than any neurologist or psyche doctor we had seen in the prior 4 years. We had seen several lyme literate doctors – very intelligent and caring doctors – but John’s case had pushed them to the limit of understanding and treatment because of his high toxic load and mental symptoms.


Presently, John is almost back to full-time functionality. If hadn’t been for Dr. S, we would have finally given up and settled for a lifetime of half-way houses, psyche drugs, and psyche wards for our son. As for most patients there, Sponaugle Wellness Institute was our last hope for medical help. Dr. Sponaugle is neither super human, nor angel, but God has given him understanding and tools that heal very sick people. We shall ever be grateful for his help through our “perfect storm” because we know there are thousands, just like John, who are still suffering and drowning in this nightmare of a storm.



Dr. Sponaugle’s Answer To This Story:

dr sponaugleHi Jimmy,

Ketamine blocks the NMDA receptor which is activated by Glutamate, doesn’t solve the underlying issue.

Quinolinic acid is produced by Lyme spirochete, just one of many other toxins in the world of Lyme, as a Glutamate mimicker, it would actually increase electrical voltage throughout the brain causing significant anxiety/panic.

An increase in electrical voltage caused by Quinolinic would actually activate in the reward center [nucleus accumbens], it would increase dopamine release and lessen depression!!!!

However,  increased voltage in the deep limbic system secondary to high Quinolinic acid levels would cause increased depression –  as you are aware, my clinical studies have also proven that serotonin and taurine deficiency cause depression via the same mechanism.

Quinolinic, is in my humble opinion, more likely to cause anxiety and panic with a wash on depression for reasons stated above.

The researchers don’t have the clinical studies we have performed at Sponaugle Wellness Institute, studies comparing symptoms of depression with over 8,000 patients for neurotransmitter testing and hundreds that have been correlated with SPECT brain scans.

All Lyme patients will suffer depression simply from toxin induced myelin inflammation and subsequent electrical shutdown of the prefrontal cortex. Remember the study you sent me from Japan on the congregation of Lyme spirochetes in the PFC, explains somewhat the disparity regarding the most sensitive brain region to Lyme toxins being the 4 second memory, lateral PFC. I just started getting PET scans on my Lyme patients, would be a good idea on John, wish we would have gotten when he first came to me with his toxin induced frontal lobotomy, would be a great before and after.

However, another caveat.

Remember, I taught you that recent PET studies in Madrid have proven that the glutamatergic receptors in the PFC are responsible, actually modulate, dopamine release in nucleus accumbens, therefore, one could argue that if the Quinolinic/Glutamate mimicry is real, the excessive Quinolinic acid production in a Lyme patient would actually increase glutamatergic activation in the prefrontal cortex which would subsequently increase the release of Dopamine to the D2 receptors in the reward center  – thereby  decreasing depression.

Another caveat, I know in my heart that the Lyme toxin blocks the dopamine from the D2 receptors, will be proven someday.

Many variables, never gets boring.

WE can test Johnny for Quinolinic acid – would be another biomarker for quantification of Lyme and monitor for reduction as guide to success in eradification.

I love my smart patients/ families, you guys never cease to amaze me, are you sure you are just a well read car wash owner?

You can pass this along on your Lyme blog, remember, neuro-immunologists are now suggesting that the immune system is simply an extension of the neurological system – it’s all about brain function!!!

Take care,

Dr Sponaugle


Teal’s Story:

Teal is a 17 year old from Colorado who came to Florida Detox and Wellness Institute in a wheel chair November, 2011. Teal was so fatigued, she could not stay awake. Teal suffered from such severe chronic fatigue, she had not been to a shopping mall for more than 3 years, quite unusual for a teenage girl. Teal had a history of suffering from Lyme disease for 5 years since the age of 12 when she was bitten by several ticks at a summer camp. Shortly after, she became bed-ridden from her Lyme disease, she reminded Dr. Sponaugle of the suffering his young Alexa had gone through just a few years prior.

Since age 12, Teal had been receiving Lyme Disease Treatment consisting of antibiotics on a daily basis, including three years of daily, intravenous antibiotics through a port in her chest. After receiving 5 years of failed Lyme treatment from various Colorado doctors, Teal moved to San Francisco and later to Seattle for more Lyme Treatment from renowned Lyme physicians. The various Lyme specialists prescribed different “antibiotic cocktails” none of which were successful in killing Teal’s Lyme infection.

When Teal arrived at Florida Detox and Wellness Institute, she could barely walk and she suffered with narcolepsy. The picture on the left was taken during her first appointment, Teal had to be woken from her daytime somulence to talk with Dr. Sponaugle. Teal set a new record for adrenal failure in Dr. Sponaugle’s clinic, morning Cortisol levels should be around 18, Teal’s AM Cortisol level was 0.3 almost immeasurable!

The picture on the right was taken after just 4 weeks of Dr Sponaugle’s Lyme Treatment.
The eyes are the window to the soul, look into Teal’s eyes, not at her eyes, as you compare her pictures before and after Dr Sponaugle’s Lyme Treatment. The night before her second picture was taken, Teal had gone with her mother to the International Mall in Tampa, her first visit to a shopping mall in 3 ½ years. Teal left her wheel chair in Tampa, a great symbolic event for Teal and her mother.

To learn more about Lyme Disease Treatment, click here.


Megan’s Story:

Megan was a teenage model before she became sick from what doctors in Mississippi thought was just Lyme Disease; she suffered with severe chronic fatigue and anxiety, all typical Lyme symptoms. After years of failed antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease, Megan and her family came to Sponaugle Wellness Institute in July of 2011. Megan’s Lyme doctors had failed to recognize that she suffered from much more than Lyme Disease. Megan was suffering from severe black mold toxicity, her Trichothecene levels measured to be 25 times the government set toxic level of 0.2 parts per billion.

Dr. Sponaugle explained to Megan and her mother that antibiotics would never kill Lyme when Megan’s immune system was essentially shut down from the Trichothecene toxin. Megan underwent Dr. Sponaugle’s proprietary intravenous mold toxicity treatment followed by the Sponaugle intravenous treatment for Lyme Disease. Within weeks, Megan regained her health and she lost 60 pounds of the excess weight she gained when her endocrine system was shut down from Mold Toxicity and Lyme Disease.


Jennifer’s Story:

Jennifer was a successful runway model in California until age 23 when she suddenly became “very sickly.” Between ages 23 and 33, Jennifer spent over $1,300,000 at California Universities and California Wellness Centers attempting to get a proper diagnosis and regain her health. In October, 2011, Jennifer and her mother came to Sponaugle Wellness Institute as a last hope to determine what was robbing this young woman of her health.

Upon Jennifer’s arrival, Dr. Sponaugle reviewed her lab data and informed Jennifer that he suspected severe mold toxicity and potentially Lyme disease. Subsequent testing revealed Jennifer was suffering from severe Trichothecene toxicity, Lyme Disease and a severe Bartonella infection.

Dr Sponaugle explained to Jennifer and her mother that the Trichothecene mold toxin down regulates the immune system’s “kill power” such that even young healthy women like Jennifer have no ability to kill tick borne infections like the Lyme Bacterium and the Bartonella bacterium.

At first, Jennifer and her mother were skeptical that a Los Angeles home could have a problem with hidden mold. Subsequently, they have found and remediated the hidden mold that played a pivotal role in Jennifer’s health issues.

The Lyme infection and the Bartonella infection were both causative for Jennifer’s daily headaches which were treated by California pain doctors with opiate pain medication. After 8 weeks of Dr. Sponaugle’s treatment for Lyme disease and Bartonella, Jennifer took her second picture. Had Jennifer’s mold toxicity, Lyme disease and Bartonella infection been properly diagnosed, Jennifer would not have lost her modeling career nor would she have spent $1.3 million on failed medical treatment.


“None of our Doctors in New York or Florida Could Bring Doug Back from his Alzheimer’s World”

“Two neurologists, a PET scan and an extensive Neuropsychological examination all diagnosed my husband with moderate Alzheimer’s Disease. Doug had gotten to the point where his cognition and memory were seriously impaired, he was so depressed he wouldn’t get out of bed until noon. He no longer wanted to socialize, he suffered with mini seizures, he was shuffling his feet when he walked and his driving abilities had declined so much that he was no longer safe.

He was sleeping 16-18 hours a day because he was so depressed. For the past several years, all his doctors, doctors in New York and in Florida, had referred to him as having a “flat affect.” One of our eye doctors, Dr. Dupree, mentioned the work that Dr. Sponaugle was doing to correct problems with peoples brains. He said that he had personally seen before and after brain scans of Dr. Sponaugle’s patients and was sure that he could be helpful to us.

We attended one of the weekly informational meetings and spoke with Dr. Sponaugle afterward. After this meeting, we decided to begin treatment. I was very impressed with Dr. Sponaugle’s knowledge and the amount of diagnostics he performed before beginning treatment and continued during the Alzheimer’s treatment.

Dr. Sponaugle diagnosed my husband with multiple things that harm the brain and cause earlier Alzheimer’s including chronic, but active Lyme disease, mold toxicity and Benzene toxicity. As it turns out my husband has special genetics that prevent him from fighting these things like other people, Dr. Sponaugle suspected these things and numerous other problems when he first met Doug, none of our other doctors had ever considered or discovered these problems.

After Dr. Sponaugle’s first IV treatment, my husband felt that he could focus better. After the second treatment, he was no longer shuffling his feet, that was amazing, we were just getting started with Dr. Sponaugle’s treatment. His driving skills improved immediately and within 3 weeks, our boat left the driveway and was put in the water for the first time in three years. My husband no longer wants to spend his days sleeping; hes too busy socializing. He now thinks nothing of driving three or four hours to visit one of our children, now they can’t even keep up with him.

My husband’s other doctors are amazed at his progress. He no longer has a flat affect. His eyes are bright and he’s eager to learn or relearn things that he’s been unable to understand for years.This week, we bought him an IPAD so he can learn email, facebook and how to navigate the internet.

Dr. Sponaugle’s staff is very friendly and caring. Additionally, we’ve met many wonderful people fellow patients and their families from all over the country. While we’re all together in the IV treatment room, we get talking and sharing our stories. These people are as grateful as we are for the wonderful work being done there. While we sometimes have to wait to see Dr. Sponaugle, we understand that he is spending time with other patients like he does with us. When we do get to see him, we never feel shortchanged. He gives us all the time we need.

Without the care my husband has received from Dr. Sponaugle, we would still be living life in the difficult Alzheimer’s world. Instead, we have a wonderful, active life and a bright future. Thank you, Dr. Sponaugle, for your caring and the miracles you are performing in peoples lives.”

Dottie says, ”Our children have trouble keeping up with Doug since Dr. Sponaugle treated him for Alzheimer’s, it’s hard to believe he could barely get out of bed just a few months ago!”

Learn more about Dr. Sponaugle’s Alzheimer’s Treatment after watching the three video testimonies given by Dottie and Doug.