With the swimming pools opening and hot-weather-temps starting to skyrocket, one mom from eastern Oregon has a serious warning for parents everywhere.
Amanda Lewis shared a video on Facebook of her daughter Evelyn “acting a little weird” around bedtime. It wasn’t the usual stalling before bed.
“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.”
The concerned parents captured a video that’s now been viewed almost 20 million times, which shows Lantz, Evelyn’s dad, coaching her through trying to stand up.
Her legs are visibly weak, and when she did rise to her feet, her legs immediately gave out from beneath her.
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 this morninh 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
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
Posted by Amanda Lewis on Saturday, May 13, 2017
Concerned it might be something serious, given that her husband has a history with cancer, Amanda says they rushed their little girl to the emergency room.
“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.”
After combing thoroughly through her hair, doctors found what they were looking for—a tick that had buried itself in Evelyn’s head.
“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.”
According to the American Lyme Disease Foundation, tick paralysis is generally a concern among livestock, and rarely affects humans; But when it does, it’s usually found in young children—under the age of 10.
The ALDF reports symptoms of tick paralysis to include: fatigue, numbness of the legs and muscle pain. Paralysis in individuals spreads from the lower extremities to the upper, followed by tongue and facial paralysis if the tick is not removed. The condition is caused by over 40 different species of ticks—five of which are predominantly found throughout North America.
The ALDF explains severe complications of tick paralysis to include convulsions, respiratory failure and death in up to 12 percent of cases left untreated.
As NPR reports, experts believe 2017 will be a “risky” year for Lyme disease. And while not all ticks carry the disease, it’s important to be on the lookout to best protect yourself and your family.
Evelyn’s tick was a dog tick, which usually does not carry Lyme disease.
Ticks are generally attracted to dark, moist places like the upper-insides of your legs, and the back of your neck where hair may cover the base of your head. So after spending time outside, it’s important to do a thorough search of those areas in addition to the entire body.
You can prevent tick bites by avoiding high grass and wooded areas, and by wearing an insect repellent containing at least 20% DEET.
Should you find a tick, the CDC recommends using fine-tipped tweezers to remove the tick in a steady, upward motion. You’ll want to avoid squeezing or twisting the tick during extraction.
Amanda says she’s still in shock that this happened to her baby girl, but she’s glad Evelyn is safe, and that they were able to spread awareness which could protect others.
“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!”
As for Evelyn, Amanda says she’s completely back to being her “feisty-little-self.”