A mother in Indiana is urging parents to be on the lookout for ticks in their area after her 2-year-old daughter contracted a rare and deadly infection that ultimately claimed her life.
According to The Daily Mail, Kenley Ratliff passed away on Tuesday after a suspected case of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
After watching what happened to her toddler, Kenley’s mother is warning other parents about the dangers of tick bites in children.
Nichol Kirby, a family friend, told 24-Hour News 8 that Kenley likely contracted the deadly infection last weekend, but she was initially treated for strep throat twice.
The little girl was then admitted to the hospital after her fever failed to break and her body began to swell dramatically.
It didn’t take long before doctors realized just how sick Kenley really was.
“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,” Kirby said. “She had purple rashes splotches all over her body and un-uniform pattern just all over little tiny purple spots big purple patches.”
Although the family set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for Kenley’s medical bills after she was left with a 104-degree fever, they later shared some devastating news.
“We are very sad to inform everyone that Kenley has become an angel,” the little girl’s family wrote. “They took out her breathing tube around 3am. She fought hard and long but she will no longer be suffering.”
“She had a 104 degree fever and that fever remained about a 103.8 all week long up until her untimely death on Saturday morning at 2:45 a.m.” said Kirby.
“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,” the family added on the GoFundMe page.
Although doctors will need to perform a post-mortem exam to figure out Kenley’s exact cause of death, she was being treated for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever right before she died.
According to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, although Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is extremely rare, it is more common in the summer months and can prove to be deadly.
Now, Kirby is speaking out on behalf of Kenley’s family to warn other parent about the deadly dangers of tick bites.
“Everyone to be very diligent about checking their children for ticks, checking their animals for ticks making sure that those pets are treated,” she said. “She would be devastated to see this to happen to anyone else and I think she would just everyone to know how much she loved her baby girl that was her angel.”