Wow, what an absolute nightmare. Parent of a little girl were left terrified when their little girl, Evelyn, was temporarily paralyzed. She began acting funny one night, near bedtime, and then did not want to stand up after her bath. The next day she seemed to be fussy and having a hard time walking….this is when they decided to take her to the hospital with suspicions of cancer.
This is when they found out what was causing all these problems: an undetected tick bite.
Amanda Lewis, Evelyn’s mother, posted to Facebook:
We had a little bit of a scary morning today…luckily everything is ok but I wanted to share this so the rest of you are aware.
Evelyn started acting a little weird last night around bed time. She didn’t want to stand up after her bath to get into her pajamas. I helped her and got her in bed. She was a little fussy last night and I ended up sleeping in bed with her all night.
This morning she was having a hard time standing. She could barely walk, or crawl, and could hardly use her arms. We took some video to send to family to see if they had any idea what could be going on. We decided to take her into the ER right after we took this video because her symptoms were getting worse, and given Lantz’s history with cancer we were quite concerned.
We got into a room quickly, thank God, and were seen almost right away. The doctor talked to us for a minute and said over the past 15 years he had seen about 7 or 8 children her age with identical symptoms and more than likely she had a tick. They looked her over, combed through her hair really well and sure enough found a tick hiding in her hair.
This condition is called tick paralysis. It can affect dogs also and can be fatal. I’m glad we took her in when we did and that it wasn’t something worse and that we found it before it got worse.
The ticks are out like crazy right now in this area so if your children or dogs start acting a little off, check them thoroughly for ticks!
I feel awful for not having seen the little bugger sooner but I never would have even thought to look for a tick. It’s crazy that a little bug can do this!
We’re still in the ER. Now that the tick has been removed, Evelyn should start feeling like herself in a couple of hours. She’s enjoying popsicles and watching cartoons ☺ They want to monitor her for a little longer then we can go home
She also posted an update on Evelyn’s condition:
UPDATE: I didn’t realize how widespread this video would end up! So for those of you who don’t know us personally, Evelyn is doing much better. It took her until the next morning to start acting like herself again. She is now pretty much completely back to her feisty little self. She complains a lot about her head itching but otherwise she’s just fine.
My husband and I are still in shock that this happened to our baby girl and I’m glad we were able to spread some awareness about this. It’s not terribly common for this to happen but it’s good to be aware that if your children or pets start having weakness in their limbs to look for a tick! The doctor told us that the type of tick that was found on her does not typically carry lyme disease (dog tick) but we are keeping a close eye on her anyway.
“Tick paralysis results from injection of a toxin from tick salivary glands during a blood meal. The toxin causes symptoms within 2–7 days, beginning with weakness in both legs that progresses to paralysis. The paralysis ascends to the trunk, arms, and head within hours and may lead to respiratory failure and death. The disease can present as acute ataxia without muscle weakness”
For more information on Tick paralysis:
I’m so thankful that we got her to the doctor quickly before her symptoms got worse and that the doctor in the ER that day had experience with this otherwise who knows how many tests they would have been doing on her trying to figure out what was wrong!
Thank you all for your kind words and support through this crazy time! ♥
We’re located in Eastern Oregon USA. Ticks though can be found all over. They’re causing all kinds of problems on the east coast of America right now as well
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has issued a memo stating that the geographic ranges of ticks are expanding quickly and that the epidemic of infections from tick-borne diseases is on the rise.
So watch out for ticks when you are in your yard or anywhere else where ticks could be lurking!
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