A 6-year-old boy was hospitalized on August 4 after an infected mosquito bite caused him to experience brain swelling and seizures, but he is expected to make a full recovery.
After complaining of a headache, Noah Surrett of Asheville, North Carolina, came down with La Crosse encephalitis, WLOS reports. According to the CDC, seizures from the illness are common but less than one percent of the seizures lead to death.
“He screams out in pain from the headaches, and he’s really just like a zombie,” his mother, LoriAnne Surrett, told the news outlet. “It’s scary, it’s really scary. I don’t want no parent to have to go through this.”
She also took to Facebook to write about the horrifying ordeal. A day after dropping off Noah and her other children at their grandparents’ house, she received a phone call that something wasn’t right with Noah and that “he wasn’t himself.”
When LoriAnne arrived, “Noah’s lips were blue, eyes fixed looking up and was completely limp. He had a seizure.”
In the ambulance, paramedics started an IV with fluids, and once he got to the hospital, doctors took blood and urine and performed a CT scan, spinal tap and chest X-ray.
LoriAnne told TODAY that her son is now back at home but there was a moment at the hospital when she wasn’t sure he would make it. Luckily, things took a turn for the better.
“Then all of a sudden, at 3 o’clock that day, he just sat up in bed and started talking to me,” she said. “It was just mind-blowing how much — just in a matter of minutes it’s like he’d come to life.”
And while he is seems to be recovering, LoriAnne says that he’s not out of the woods just yet.
“It’s been very hard, especially at nighttime,” she told TODAY. “He wakes up and he cries having nightmares.”
A GoFundMe page was created with a $5,000 goal to “ease some of the financial hardship that comes from this type of situation.”
She now wants to warn other parents about how easy it is to contract the illness.
“I am a mother of 5 boys and I am a firm believer in bug spray and all that 2 keep the bugs away and it still happened to my little man,” she wrote in the Facebook post. “Noah is a spunky little dude that sickness never brings him down so this is breaking all of our hearts.”
She added: “I don’t want to see another baby go through this. They said it’s like meningitis so they are treating it the same way. Use bug spray on your kids check for bites. It’s not 100% preventable obviously but do what you can to try.”
Dr. Sapna Parikh spoke with WSOC-TV about what to look out for if your child is bitten by a mosquito.
“You want to watch, is the headache worsening, is the fever persisting?” she said. “If pain relievers aren’t working or if the child is becoming more and more lethargic or, like this family noticed, their child just didn’t seem quite right, that’s when you want to worry.”