Kenley Ratliff was a happy 2-year-old girl. Then one day, she found herself fighting for her own life. It was a struggle she would not win. Now, her family is speaking out about Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) in hopes that no other child has to go through what Kenley did.
Jordan Clapp is Kenley’s aunt who was able to speak when Kenley’s mom Kayla could not.
“If we could save one child’s life, then we will have done our job. Kayla is so devastated. Spreading awareness is therapeutic,” said Clapp.
Kenley Ratliff Happy Before Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is nothing to play with at all. Constantly check for ticks when you are camping. Check for them when you get home from camping. Check through clothes and hair. Make sure you don’t have any ticks on you.
In fact, you don’t just get ticks while you’re camping. You can get them from playing in the yard. Any time a kid is outside and has walked through the woods or even high grass, they are at risk of having ticks on them. When you find a tick, check really closely to see if the head is embedded in the body.
A Fever First, And Then A Rash All Over Her Body
You don’t just want to pull the ticks off the child. You want to make sure the head is still attached to its body. That’s the dangerous part. If you pull the tick and the head separates from the body, it will get lost in the child’s blood stream and that’s how diseases like RMSF infect the child.
Kenley passed eight days after Kayla first noticed she was having a fever at 103.8 degrees. That’s how fast it can hit. Kayla took Kenley to the doctors several times and each time, the doctors gave the wrong diagnosis until it was too late.
The problem is that RMSF can come across like so many other things at first. The symptoms are fever, rash, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, muscle pain, lack of appetite, and red eyes. Let the doctors know everything. If you’ve recently been camping as Kenley had been, it’s good information to let them know. If they are aware that a tick could be the problem, they might be able to save a child’s life.