Kenley Ratliff’s Indiana family is now trying to spread awareness to other parents, after their 2-year-old daughter, Kenley, died after receiving a tick bite and contracting Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
The symptoms included a regular sore throat and fever, so the child was treated for strep throat the prior week, and sent home. However, when the fever wouldn’t break, mother Kayla, took the child to the hospital.
Even in the hospital, the child’s body swelled, and developed a rash. Doctors were unable to cure her. The child was hooked up to breathing tubes for several days before passing away.
The Daily Mail reports:
Another image shows Kayla laying next to her daughter wearing a face mask and overalls to protect her from the infection.
They are covered by a leopard-print blanket and have some of Kenley’s favorite stuffed animals with them.
Kirby told local reporters: ‘Her mother was holding her hand her little two year old hand was just so swollen it was almost the size of her mother’s.
‘She had purple rashes splotches all over her body and un-uniform pattern just all over little tiny purple spots big purple patches.’
A GoFundMe page was set up to pay for Kenley’s medical bills, saying the girl was suffering from brain swelling and had a fever of 104F.
But on Sunday the devastated family posted an update which read: ‘We are very sad to inform everyone that Kenley has become an angel.
‘They took out her breathing tube around 3am. She fought hard and long but she will no longer be suffering.
‘Thank you so much for the support, and the prayers, Kenley loves you all please take a second to share this post. Rest In Heaven Kenley Boo.’
Doctors still need to carry out a post-mortem to confirm the cause of death, but were treating Kenley for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever before she passed away.
The illness is caused by a bacteria which enters the body through the bite of an infected tick.
According to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, the disease affects six in a million people in America every year and is most commonly caught in the summer months.
While incidents of the illness have spiked in recent years, deaths have fallen, with less than 1 per cent of cases now ending in fatality.