An Oklahoma mother of two endured quadruple amputations after a tiny tick bite ravaged her body with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever – a bacterial infection transmitted by ticks. Within the course of one week, 40-year-old Jo Rogers went from being the picture of health to losing both of her arms at mid-forearm level and parts of both of her legs.
Writes CNN on Aug. 14: “The intensity of Rogers’ case may be rare, but infections unfortunately are not. Few people die from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever anymore, since it can be treated with antibiotics. But treatment should start in the first five days of infection. Rogers appears to have missed that time frame.”
Rogers, from Shawnee, was bitten by a tick in early July while on vacation in Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees in the foothills of the Ozark Mountain Range in Northeast Oklahoma. Over the past month, Rogers, who has two boys, ages 12 and 17, has been in three different hospitals fighting for her life.
Four days after being bit, Rogers said she felt like she had the flu. One day later, she was in the hospital and being administrated a battery of tests while doctors struggled to diagnose her symptoms. She complained of headaches, muscle and abdominal pain. She had a fever and was vomiting. Her extremities were turning black and blue from septic shock.
Adds Oklahoma’s News 9: “Rogers went into septic shock while at an OKC hospital and had to be put into a coma. She was tested for a number of viral and bacterial infections, including meningitis and West Nile, and all the results came back negative.”
Doctors finally diagnosed that a tick had transmitted the R. rickettsii bacteria. By then, they were forced to amputate Rogers’ limbs to avoid the infection from spreading into her vital organs.
According to the CDC, although Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever cases are reported “throughout most of the contiguous United States, five states – North Carolina, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Missouri – account for over 60 percent” of the reported cases.”
“You’re going to get to watch your boys grow up,” Rogers cousin Lisa Morgan said she told her, describing Rogers as a “beautiful, energetic, fun person. Nobody deserves this.” A GoFundMe page has been set up by Morgan to give some financial assistance to her cousin. Morgan writes, in part:
“Although she will have insurance for a couple more months, her medical bills are mounting daily and will continue as she will be in the hospital for many more months with rehab, prosthetics and home and car renovation to accommodate her needs. While still working, her husband is at the hospital for most of his free time while still trying to take care of their sons. Although our friends and family are doing all we can to help them, it will never be enough so I am asking for help from anyone who is willing to help.”
As of the writing of this article, over $10K has been raised toward the target goal of $25K. If you are in a position to help this tick bite victim, please do so.