Young Girl Mysteriously Paralyzed, Mom Brushes Her Hair And Finds A Tick

A mom in Mississippi was shocked and terrified when her young daughter went to bed one night perfectly healthy, but couldn't stand up the next morning. The child's condition rapidly declined, with the little girl unable to walk and talk. While doing her daughter's hair, the mother found the problem. It was a tick.

Jessica Griffin said that Kailyn, her five-year-old daughter, lost her ability to walk and talk literally overnight because she was bitten by a tick. Kailyn was 'perfectly fine' on the night of June 5, but on the morning of June 6 she fell when she tried to get out of bed for school.

“She woke up yesterday morning to get ready to go to daycare and as soon as her feet hit the floor she fell,” said Griffin to ABC News. “She would try to stand and walk but would continue to fall so I thought her legs were just asleep."

But things were getting worse. As Griffin combed back her daughter's hair to put it in a ponytail, she spotted something that made her realize just how serious the situation might be. There was a tick fastened to Kailyn's scalp.

The mother took her daughter to the emergency room. Doctors ran tests and found that Kailyn was suffering from a condition known as tick paralysis. It's caused by a toxin found in tick saliva.

The Centers for Disease Control says that the condition isn't usually permanent, as long as the tick is found. Within 24 hours after removing the tick, the patient will regain the use of his or her limbs. Until then, it can be a very frightening experience.

If the tick isn't found and removed, though, the condition can become very serious. The toxin can continue to spread, including into the respiratory muscles, and inhibit a patient's breathing. Without treatment, this can be fatal.

“I honestly have never even heard of that before,” Griffin said. “Her pediatrician said it had sucked so much over the night that it had gotten that big and released a toxin.”

Thankfully, 12 hours after removing the tick, Kailyn was her old self again. Griffin says her daughter was acting silly, running around and playing as though nothing had happened.

Griffin is warning people to take ticks seriously. There has been a serious rise in diseases caused by tick bites, most notably Lyme disease. Early detection is important to effectively treat the disease, and not everyone gets the ‘bullseye rash’ that warns them that they may have contracted it through a bite. Catching the tick before or shortly after it starts feeding is the best way to prevent illness.

“Please, for the love of God, check your kids for ticks! It’s more common in children than it is adults,” the mom wrote on Facebook. “Prayers for this baby! Scary is an UNDERSTATEMENT! She has been such a champ throughout this whole ordeal.”

"If you’re going outdoors, covering yourself in DEET can prevent tick bites," advises Dr. Ben Brock to WLBT. "Consider wearing long sleeves. While in the summertime that can be uncomfortable, light-colored clothing can be helpful because you can see the ticks on your clothing and they’re less attracted to you. Also, you can consider tucking your pants into your socks."

If you do find a tick, doctors advise pulling out it with a tweezer. Folk remedies that call for covering it in nail polish or putting heat near it don't work, they warn.

Source: Washington Post
Photos: KCTV5, Facebook

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