A two-year-old girl from Williams Lake

A two-year-old girl from Williams Lake

Child suffers temporary paralysis from tick bite

A two-year-old girl from Williams Lake is recovering at home after being paralyzed by a wood tick recently.

A two-year-old girl from Williams Lake is recovering at home after being paralyzed by a wood tick recently.

Izzy’s mom and dad, Tera and Ryan Grady, are warning parents to check for ticks if a child starts to show weakness in the legs.

By the time Tera found a Rocky Mountain Wood Tick embedded above Izzy’s ear, she couldn’t move her head, swallow or cough, and was about to be put on a respirator at the hospital.

The Gradys were enjoying a family ski vacation in Whistler during the Easter weekend when on Monday morning Izzy suddenly couldn’t walk.

Tera and Ryan brought her into the emergency ward in Whistler and were referred to a pediatrician at Lion’s Gate Hospital in Vancouver.

Izzy didn’t have a fever, a rash or any aches and pains, and the doctors did not know what to test for, Tera said.

“I don’t think they see ticks there much so they didn’t think of that.”

By the next morning, back in Whistler, Izzy had no fine motor skills in her hands.

The Gradys returned to the emergency ward at the Whistler Hospital and were referred to a neurologist at Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

“Four neurologists examined her,” Tera said.

Because the doctors couldn’t find reflexes in any of Izzy’s limbs they decided to test her for Guillaine-Barre Syndrome — a disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves.

Izzy would need a spinal tap and an MRI the doctors said.

While they were preparing for the MRI, Tera happened to put her hand on her daughter’s head.

That’s when she felt something crusty.

She pulled back Izzy’s blonde hair and discovered the tick. It was in the third stage of feasting, and was also a blonde colour. The ticks are first black, then red, then blonde and finally silver. They will then drop off to go looking for a mate.

Immediately the tick was removed.

During the first 24 hours, Izzy’s condition worsened and she became more of a “wet noodle” and “rag doll.”

But within 48 hours she showed signs of improvement and less than a week later Izzy was working with her dad in the backyard, feeling totally back to normal.

Ryan said Izzy might have picked up the tick while walking the power line above their home in Williams Lake a few days before they left for Whistler.

Ticks use deer as a winter host, so when the snow melts they drop off the deer. Ticks are rarely in their backyard, Ryan added.

Human cases of tick paralysis are rare and only occur in children under 10.

The Rocky Mountain wood tick saliva contains a neurotoxin that can occasionally cause tick paralysis in humans and pets; usually a bite from an adult female induces an ascending paralysis that dissipates within 24 to 72 hours after tick removal.

Dr. Glen Fedor of Williams Lake said the Cariboo Memorial Hospital sees one case of tick paralysis every few years.

“In tick season the nurses are very good at recognizing the signs of tick paralysis,” Fedor said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A detour via Mission Road is in place Sunday, Feb. 28 due to a vehicle incident. (Anna Fait photo)
Highway 97 closed south of Williams Lake Sunday morning, detour in place

Overnight, Williams Lake saw six centimetres of snowfall, according to Environment Canada

Researchers in B.C. say earlier than usual return of bats or dead bats can indicate trouble, such as signs of white-nose syndrome. (Cathy Koot photo)
Public help is essential for monitoring for bat disease

Anyone finding a dead bat is asked to report it to the BC Community Bat Program

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

Mclean Silverton rides a rail in Boitanio Park - one of seven new features installed by the city this past week. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Snow park in Boitanio open for riding

If any users find that the park requires attention, please contact city hall at 250-392-2311

A snowfall warning has been issued for Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Black Press Media)
Snowfall warning issued for Cariboo region

Between 10 to 15 cm expected

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Most Read