Nick Duggan back on the Sunshine Coast.
Nick Duggan back on the Sunshine Coast. Darryn Smith

Fightback for Nick continues one day at a time

THIS is the healthiest Nick Duggan has been since his battle against a potentially life threatening illness began.

It's been nine months since the former Buderim businessman had to be rushed to hospital from a flare up of coccidioidomycosis meningitis, which developed from the valley fever he contracted in July 2010.

It's a glimmer of good news he's been able to bring back to family and friends on the Sunshine Coast.

Mr Duggan, along with wife Allison and two children Jessilee, 10, and Dakota, 8, arrived on the Coast last week for a short visit to see family and friends.

It's just the second time in three years, since they all relocated to San Francisco for Mr Duggan's ongoing treatment, that they've been able to return home.

"This is the best I've been in three years," Mr Duggan told The Daily.

"My lumbar punctures (spinal taps) are back to one every three months. That's the widest gap I've had in lumbar punctures.

"My energy levels are still very limited. I've just got to be careful of what I can do."

But he still receives blood tests regularly, and doctors test his liver function fortnightly to see if his body can continue to handle anti-fungal medication Fluconazol.

"No one has been on this high a dosage for this period of time. It's really new grounds for them.

"When I go to the doctors and ask what we expect to happen, they say they just don't know."

Mr Duggan is also speaking with the National Institute of Health for America in Maryland.

"They want to know why a fit 35-year-old male would get this disease so bad and how I've survived and what I've gone through. It still baffles them," he said.

"I really am a test case for this kind of medication and trials."


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