A Mississippi mother is sending a warning for parents to check their children for ticks. A bite from the insect left her young daughter unable to walk and struggling to talk.
Jessica Griffin shared the scary moment when her daughter Kailyn woke up one morning unable to walk. She was also struggling with talking. Griffin then took her daughter to the University of Mississippi Medical Center and doctors performed a number of blood tests and a CT scan of her head. The diagnosis was tick paralysis.
Kailyn’s mother posted this on Facebook: “We had a bit of a scare this morning! Kailyn woke up and couldn’t walk! I was just thinking that her legs were asleep until I noticed that she couldn’t hardly talk! After tons of blood work and a CT of the head UMMC has ruled it as tick paralysis! PLEASE for the love of god check your kids for ticks! It’s more common in children than it is adults! We are being admitted to the hospital for observation and we’re hoping her balance gets straightened out! Prayers for this baby! Scary is a UNDERSTATEMENT! She has been such a champ throughout this whole ordeal!”
After being admitted to the hospital, Kailyn’s health dramatically improved. The Facebook post showed pictures of the tick that was removed from the crown of Kailyn’s head.
The warning post was effective. It got the attention of many and was shared of 391,000 times.
Griffin said she had no intention for the post to go viral but she was glad she was able to raise awareness about tick bites.
“I had no intentions for that post to go as viral as it has but I’m so glad because now I know I’m not the only one out there that hasn’t ever heard of tick paralysis,” she wrote on Facebook.
“It’s definitely a thing and we experienced it first hand! Make sure you check those babies in every crease of their body.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tick paralysis is a rare disease caused by a toxin in tick saliva. It added that the symptoms of paralysis usually subside 24 hours after the tick is removed.
Tickborne diseases that can also cause fevers, chills, and aches and pains. In serious cases, tick bites can also lead to a variety of medical conditions such as Lyme disease—an infection caused by bacteria transmitted from a tick bite.