John – Florida

After a successful year of college, a cute girlfriend, and a sports truck – life was suitable for 20-year-old John Branch.

Youngest of five 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 John’s undiagnosed genetics, genetics that weakened his immune response to mold toxins and Lyme infection, and mold toxin genetics that disallow the removal of both Mold Toxins and Lyme toxins.

It’s called the double gene or the dreaded gene, genetics that, sadly, 1 million dollars worth of university professors and LLMDs failed to diagnose, leaving it to Dr. Sponaugle.

The (HLA-DR genes for 25% of the population), genetics that allowed John to carry ten times the government-set level of toxicity for mold toxins, deadly Trichothecenes, and Ochratoxin – two of the invisible gases emitted by molds that grow in water-damaged buildings and air conditioner systems.

Rogue governments have used Trichothecene for bio-chemical warfare; our government had decided it was too lethal years ago, and they couldn’t contain the fallout.

Dr. Sponaugle teaches that Trichothecene shuts down the entire immune system, destroys the gut lining, impairing nutrition, and destroys the brain’s white matter, the myelin or insulation on brain nerves.

John’s brain had already been battered by eight years of playing football. Dr. Sponaugle, who also treats brain trauma, explained what no neurologist at Columbia medical center or elsewhere could explain, that John had a “chemical” frontal lobotomy, or toxin shut-down of the frontal lobe had given John a frontal lobotomy, similar in effect as the surgical lobotomy did years ago in psyche wards.*

The inflammation from toxins on top of the bruising of myelin from football, John loved to put his head into every tackle, and a massive brain infection with Lyme and Bartonella was just too much.

No doctor at Cornell, University of Alabama, or any other LLMD knew that the toxins from mold and Lyme that John had built up in his brain, because of his genetics, could not be removed like other people, making his already sensitive and traumatized frontal lobe even more vulnerable to infections and toxicity.

Storm conditions worsened. An infected insect bite on his neck and persistent rash sent John to the doctor for a week of antibiotics. The antibiotics were delayed for four months, a meningo-encephalitic 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 land John handcuffed in an ambulance.

“He’s on meth and going to jail,” the victorious deputy sheriff announces. An hour later, when John wakes up in the ER … unaware 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, followed by months of catatonia, schizophrenia, autism, nine 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 million. The healthy, athletic son had become a disheveled, helpless, mindless caricature of his former self*.

He had been hospitalized at the 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 became the pattern for every hospital during the next four years. When the family notified UAB two weeks after their stay that John had two positive ELISA and a five-band, very positive western blot from our local walk-in clinic, they had difficulty 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 as a hypochondriac and your doctor persecuted like a quack.

In 2010, on nine months of daily IV antibiotics, John became catatonic for three months. The family learned to feed him with a straw adapted as a pipet until he was placed on a feeding tube.

The family eventually sought help at New York Presbyterian at Cornell. They knew of a Lyme-psyche researcher at NYP Columbia and had hoped for some awareness of Lyme, or at least better testing, at Cornell.

The family’s dramatic story of driving straight from Florida to NY for help get around the hospital. One of the neurologists sarcastically told us in front of six 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. Psych wards became the family’s only “harbor of medical hope” for two years.*

Psych drugs were of little help. But the psych realm offered electro-convulsive therapy. Those shock treatments woke him up for two, five-month periods … enough to regain his driver’s license, re-enter school, and buy some time for Treatment of Lyme Disease from non-traditional Lyme doctors.*

Then he would relapse, not to a coma, but more of a deep autistic-zombie-mute state. The psyche docs thought he was depressed. The Lyme doctors saw infections by lab secondary markers unknown to traditional doctors. Finally, after two years, the psych-ECT doctor gave up. The ECT worked only temporarily to detox John’s brain. Then the family founded Sponaugle Wellness Institute.

Dr. Sponaugle recognized that John had a toxic frontal lobotomy. He knew what labs were necessary to identify John’s other infections, and he diagnosed John with additional brain infections.

He also understood how to penetrate the biofilm formations sequestering John’s mold toxins and bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. With four years of immuno-suppression equal to that of an AIDS patient, John had developed several complications beyond Lyme disease and mold toxicity: Babesia, Bartonella, six different viruses, FL1953 mosquito parasite, Candida fungus, Morgellons, worms, and gut parasites.*

From day one, Dr. Sponaugle knew more about John’s brain than any neurologist or psyche doctor the family had seen in the prior four years, including neurology professors at Columbia Medical Center and Cornell Medical Center in New York!

The family had seen several Lyme literate doctors – knowledgeable and caring doctors –. Still, John’s case had pushed them to the limit of their understanding and treatment because of his high toxic load and mental symptoms.

Presently, John is almost back to full-time functionality*. If it hadn’t been for Dr. Sponaugle, the family shared they would have finally given up and settled for a lifetime of halfway houses, psych drugs, and psyche wards for our son.

As for most patients, Sponaugle Wellness Institute was the family’s last hope.

“Dr. Sponaugle is neither superhuman nor angel, but God has given him understanding and tools that heal 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.”

Medical Director at Sponaugle Wellness Institute | 1-877-737-1959 | Meet Dr. Sponaugle | + posts
Dr. Rick Sponaugle, MD, is a licensed medical doctor in Florida, integrative physician, and board-certified anesthesiologist. With an emphasis on Environmental Medicine, Dr. Sponaugle specializes in treating brain and neurological disorders derived from Mold Toxicity, Industrial Toxicity, Gut Toxicity, Neurological Lyme disease, and five additional stealth infections that attack the Brain and Neurological system of most patients. Our Medical Director, Rick Sponaugle, MD, is an integrative physician who attempts to prioritize treatment through quality forensic medicine. Performing an analysis of 400 numerical bio-markers in his initial consultation, Dr. Sponaugle's goal is to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of your multiple symptoms.
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