In 2005, the native of South Africa had come to New Jersey and was working as a day-laborer and gardener.
The report, published last month in the peer-reviewed journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, suggests that suicidal thoughts in patients with Lyme and other associated diseases may provide context for the thousands of unexplained suicides in the United States each year.
Not surprisingly, few if any doctors had heard of Lyme since that was the same year a medical entomologist named Willy Burgdorfer first identified the spirochete bacteria that now bears his name.
Before his physical and mental capabilities began to deteriorate, Vickson was a martial arts instructor and a cost analyst with the U.S.
He found the same psychiatric patterns in people who met the strict criteria used by the CDC to count Lyme cases and in people who were diagnosed with Lyme by doctors, regardless if they met the criteria.