“Southern Charm” star Olivia Flowers shared how her brother, Conner Flowers, battled Lyme disease for nearly two decades before he died in January at age 32.
“My brother suffered from this insidious disease for his entire adult life,” Olivia, 31, captioned an Instagram post Tuesday.
The Bravolebrity explained that Conner kept his “struggles” with the disease “very private,” but she and her family “saw the toll it took on his life trying to navigate the debilitating symptoms over the last 17 years.”
Her older brother, unfortunately, faced “several misdiagnoses and unnecessary medicinal treatment at a young age” because of how “complex and incredibly difficult” it is to diagnose.
“By the time he was properly tested and given a diagnosis from Dr. Jemsek, a God send, and an infectious disease specialist, the disease had caused severe internal damage, and the consequences from his earlier ‘treatment’ were just as long-lasting and devastating,” Olivia, 31, continued.
The “We Follow You” actress wrote the post to “honor” her brother “as well as help others avoid the same struggles brought on by Lyme disease that he suffered” during May, which is Lyme Disease Awareness Month.
Lyme disease is an “illness caused by borrelia bacteria,” and humans typically get it from the “bite of a tick carrying the bacteria,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
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The reality TV personality didn’t specify if Lyme disease and/or the earlier treatments ultimately caused her brother to pass away.
Shortly after he died, Olivia paid tribute to him on her Instagram.
“What a blessing it has been to be the sister of such a beautiful, tender hearted soul with the soft spoken voice to match,” she wrote in February.
“I don’t know what this life will be without you. It’s always been you and me. I can only hope I continue to be known forever as ‘Conner’s little sister.’”
In the meantime, Olivia has spent the last few months filming Season 9 of the hit Bravo show alongside her ex Austen Kroll and their other group of friends.