Mother warns of dangers of tick bites after 2-year-old daughter dies

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (CNN) – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a tick borne disease which causes a bacterial infection.

Right now family and friends say they’re waiting for autopsy results to confirm whether it was a tick bite that caused her death.

A friend speaking on behalf of the family says Kenley Ratliff loved spending time outdoors with her family. If she was bitten by a tick, they’re not sure where it may have happened.

She was taken to the emergency room twice for strep throat and released. But when the fever didn’t come down she was admitted to the hospital.

A cell phone video provided by family shows 2-year-old Kenley Ratliff so full of life. She was a bubbly and happy little girl who enjoyed taking Snapchat videos with her mom.

Nichol Kirby, family friend, says, “Her mother and father cannot believe that she is gone that their baby girl is gone now.”

Kirby says Kenley was admitted to Riley Hospital for Children last Tuesday after her high fever didn’t break.

“She had a 104 degree fever and that fever remained about a 103.8 all week long, up until her untimely death on Saturday morning at 2:45 a.m.”

Kirby says Kenley was given an anti-iotic and placed on a breathing tube while doctors tried to diagnosis her.

She had a brain infection, swollen hands and rashes all over her body.

“She had purple rashes splotches all over her body and un-uniform pattern, just all over little tiny purple spots big purple patches.”

Kirby says doctors treated Kenley for rocky mountain spotted fever as best as they could.

“Just the condition of this poor baby laying there the way she was it’s a mother’s nightmare a father’s nightmare.”

Kirby says Kenley’s mother just wants to get the message out there to other families to always check for ticks.

“She would be devastated to see this to happen to anyone else and I think she would just want everyone to know how much she loved her baby girl that was her angel”

Right now, more than $4,000 dollars have been raised to help the family pay for the funeral.

A celebration of life for Kenley is happening this Saturday from 3-8 p.m. at Hazelwood Christian Church.

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