Mother Has Arms, Legs Amputated After Tick Bite: 'The Disease Was Crawling up Her Limbs'
A mother has had both of her arms and legs amputated after a tiny tick bite left her with a deadly illness.
Jo Rogers, from Shawnee, Oklahoma, contracted the illness - the worst case of Rock Mountain Spotted Fever doctors say they have ever seen - after visiting Grand Lake in July.
Four days later, she thought she had the flu, but when her condition continued to deteriorate the following day, her family decided to take her to hospital.
"She was shaking her hands because they hurt, her feet hurt," her cousin Lisa Morgan told KOCO.
Doctors said the 40-year-old’s organs were shutting down and she was put in a medically-induced coma, according to a Gofundme page set up by Morgan. But when doctors tested for West Nile Virus and meningitis, the results came back negative, leaving them scrambling for answers.
"Her arms and feet were turning dark blue and black," Morgan said. "It was crawling up her limbs."
They then discovered the single, tiny tick bite she had received. It had left her with Rock Mountain Spotted Fever.
Doctors were forced to amputate her right leg mid-thigh, her left leg below the knee and both arms below the elbows to save her life.
Morgan added on the fundraising page: "It was found that she has a blood clot in her lung, more infection in her blood and they are fighting the possibility of pneumonia."
The family is now raising money to help Rogers, who is married with two sons, aged 17 and 22. For more information, visit their Gofundme page.
"It's all so overwhelming, unreal and devastatingly heartbreaking," her cousin wrote. "Enjoy every minute of every single day because you never know what could happen tomorrow."
Early symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever include headache, fever, vomiting and muscle pain, according to the CDC. Only one to three percent of ticks carry the bacteria and they must be biting a person for as long as six hours to transmit it.
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