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Mum issues warning about ticks after son experienced six-hour seizure and almost died

Mum issues warning about ticks after son experienced six-hour seizure and almost died

He quickly deteriorated after complaining a headache and developing a fever

A US mum has spoken out to warn other parents about how a tick bite can lead to a serious and little-known condition after her son almost died after a hike.

You can watch the horrifying story unfold below:

6-year-old Aiden Debusk and his brother Anakin, 3, had been walking with their father, Steven, on the last weekend of June.

As usual, their mum, Laiken Debusk, 25, of Russellville, Arkansas, checked them closely for ticks when they got home.

She told “(My husband said), ‘There were a lot of ticks.' I start checking the boys, and I pull one from the nape of Aiden’s neck and then one off his underwear line, and then I pulled six or seven off Anakin."

Several days later, Aiden complained of a headache but medication seemed to do little to help his pain or slight fever.

When he woke up with no interest in eating and playing, lost his ability to use the bathroom and was in pain on 2 July, Steven rushed him to the ER.

Laiken explained: “He was just crying, hollering and screaming out in pain.”

An hour later she received a worrying phone call from her husband stating that Aiden was 'not being himself'.

When Steven told doctors about the ticks, doctors were confused as the bites had already healed and there was no 'bad reaction'.

The baffled medical team transferred Aiden to Arkansas Children’s Hospital, as he went into early-stage organ failure and had neurological symptoms.

Aiden's parents are hopeful about his recovery.
Facebook/Laiken Debusk
Laiken recalls: “When we first got here, he was going to the bathroom on himself. He couldn’t walk and didn’t really know his name.”

His mum said: “It turned into a two-and-a-half hour seizure that they could only stop by intubating him and putting him a medically induced coma."

“They waited two days, and they were trying to pull him out of the coma again, and when they did, he started having another seizure that actually ended up lasting six and a half hours.”

The family eventually learned that the tick that had bitted Aiden had caused ehrlichiosis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): "Ehrlichiosis is the general name used to describe diseases caused by the bacteria Ehrlichia chaffeensis in the United States. These bacteria are spread to people primarily through the bite of infected ticks including the lone star tick and the blacklegged tick."

Symptoms include 'fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and sometimes upset stomach'.

Symptoms usually begin five to 14 days after a tick bite.

Doctors started Aiden on a course of the antibiotic doxycycline but sadly the infection also led his immune system to 'overreact'.

MRI imaging suggests his brain has 'shrunk', but at such an early stage of his recovery, it's unclear whenever Aiden has suffered permanent brain damage.

MRI images revealed his brain had 'shrunk'.

He will need physical, speech and occupational therapy.

Laiken is optimistic as her son's treatment continues and a GoFundMe has been set up: “He’s really surprising them because technically he wasn’t even supposed to be talking or moving or waking up."

She added: “He definitely recognises me. He definitely recognizes his daddy.”

“He squeezed my hands a couple of times. … He’ll nod or shake his head a little bit. He’s definitely responding in his own way.”

She shared that she and Steven had never heard of ehrlichiosis and wanted to share Aiden's story to help other parents.

Her advice: “Make sure you check if there are ticks.

“I’m not telling everybody to keep kids in and never let them out anymore. But make sure you’re using the bug spray. Make sure they’re wearing pants. Make sure you change their clothes.”

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Laiken Debusk

Topics: Health, Parenting, US News, News