Atoka Child Battling Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Atoka Child Battling Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

An Atoka, Tennessee family is living a nightmare with their six-month-old daughter. Their baby was unknowingly bitten by a tick and contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - An Atoka, Tennessee family is living a nightmare with their 6-month-old daughter.

Their baby was unknowingly bitten by a tick and contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

They took her to doctor after doctor but the disease went undiagnosed until the baby almost died.

Reagyn O'Brien has been at Le Bonheur for a month.

She is recovering from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

The disease can be difficult to diagnose. Especially in Raegyn's case.

Her parents never saw a tick and had no idea she'd been bitten.

Before this nightmare started, Raegyn O'Brian was the picture of health.

Her mom, Amanda started noticing something was wrong on July 9th.

“She had the fever and a rash and I took her to three other hospitals prior to her being admitted here on July 14,” O’Brien said.

Doctors keep telling her it would go away.

“They were sending us home telling us to give her Tylenol. We brought her here one time too and they sent us home as well saying it was just a virus,” O’Brien said.

But the mom knew her baby wasn't fine.

“She just wasn’t getting better so we brought her back and as soon as we brought her here they took her straight to the trauma unit,” O’Brien said.

The disease causes inflammation in blood vessels.

“Can cause inflammation in the heart, the lungs, the brain, everywhere,” Dr. Stephen Threlkeld from Baptist said.

It's only spread by ticks and Dr.Threlkeld says it's on the rise here.

“We've seen a fair number this summer actually. Probably than in recent years,” Threlkeld said.

Most people who get bitten won't get sick. The major symptoms are a summertime severe head ache, fever and a rash.

“I know there's a lot of parents put there that they pick ticks off their kids everyday and never think twice about it cause its just not a big deal but it is,” Threlkeld said.

While Raegyn is getting better, she's got weeks of therapy ahead of her.

She suffered brain damage from it and she will probably end up losing the tips of her toes on her left foot and a couple on her right foot.

But her parents say she's okay now that's all that matters.

Doctors say only time will tell on how Reagan's recovery will go.

The O'Briens say they'll continue to believe the best.
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