Bacteria Hunters: A Dallas-area Patient Seeks a Cure From the Past for a Debilitating Infection

The low point for Patti Swearingen came one morning last December. She woke up, picked up her iPhone and was too dizzy to be able to tell the time.For more than five years, Swearingen, 60, of Rowlett, had been on and off antibiotics, battling an infection that kept coming back.At first, it was the bacteria that made her ill. Now it was the drugs themselves she couldn’t tolerate. They made her vomit, gave her migraines, sapped her energy and caused vertigo. Worst of all, her symptoms kept her from doing the things she cherished: making breakfast for her husband, checking on her 86-year-old mother, making plans to visit her grandchildren.She spent full days lying on her living room couch. Her doctors told her they couldn’t do much more for her urinary tract infection than rotate antibiotic prescriptions and try to keep her symptoms in check.Swearingen decided she could no longer live that way. “I realized antibiotics were not the answer,” she said. “They were never going to fix it.”  Continue reading...

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