Jessica Griffin, a mother of two from Mississippi, took to Facebook to share a recent scare that happened after her 5-year-old daughter Kailyn was bitten by a tick. The little girl woke up one morning and was unable to walk or talk.
“She woke up yesterday morning to get ready to go to daycare and as soon as her feet hit the floor, she fell,” Jessica said in an interview with ABC News. “She would try to stand and walk but would continue to fall so I thought her legs were just asleep.”
When she went to put Kailyn’s hair up in a ponytail she saw the tick bite on her head and immediately brought her to the hospital. After blood work and a CT scan, the doctors diagnosed her with tick paralysis.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the paralysis comes from a toxin that is released in a tick’s saliva. It typically goes away in about 24 hours after a tick is removed.
“I honestly have never even heard of that before,” Jessica said. “Her pediatrician said it had sucked so much over the night that it had gotten that big and released a toxin.”
Jessica is now warning other parents to be on the lookout for ticks and to be aware of tick paralysis. “PLEASE for the love of god check your kids for ticks,” she wrote on Facebook “It’s more common in children than it is adults!”
Since she posted it, her message has gone viral with almost 500,000 shares and thousands of comments from people praying for a speedy recovery for her daughter.
After being diagnosed, Kailyn was able to overcome the paralysis in about 12 hours. And it looks like she is back to her old self.
“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 in another post. "It’s definitely a thing and we experienced it first hand! Make sure you check those babies in EVERY crease of their body! Kailyn has fully recovered and hasn’t slowed down since her feet hit that floor this morning.”