Indiana girl tested positive for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, lab results confirm

CREDIT: Kayla Conn

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — New lab results confirmed a 2-year-old girl from Plainfield tested positive for the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, according to family.

Kenley Ratliff died over the weekend after getting what doctors are calling a dangerous tick-borne disease.

Kenley’s mom told WISH-TV words cannot describe the pain she is going through right now after the death of her 2-year-old daughter.

Kayla Conn is now hoping to raise awareness about ticks so that this tragic ending doesn’t happen to another family.

In a cell phone video provided by Conn, you can see just how adorable her daughter could be.

“She was completely fine, and then the next minute we know we’re having to tell our goodbyes; we did not expect that,” she said.

The troubles began when Kenley had a high fever. She went to two different emergency rooms before being admitted to Riley Hospital for Children. Conn said doctors placed her daughter on antibiotics to fight off the infection.

“She had four different antibiotics. They gave her the strongest antibiotic that they could to hopefully fight off everything and by the time they suspected it could be Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, it was too late,” she said. “Her organs and brain was swollen.”

Conn spent every day and night at the hospital with her daughter. She said she felt helpless.

“As a mother you’re supposed to protect, you know, that’s our job is to protect your children, and when there’s nothing that you could do and you’re just listening to the doctor telling you every time they’re coming through the door, you’re hoping for, you know, progress, something good, and every single time it’s the total opposite,” she said.

Conn said they have been waiting for lab results to confirm Kenley’s diagnosis, and Friday they heard back.

“They did three tests on her, the Rocky Mountain came up positive, strep came up positive, too, and bacterial infection, but those those weren’t the reasons why she was fatal.”

She said Kenley is now her guardian angel, giving her the strength to warn other families.

“We don’t want any other parents to experience that ever,” she said.

At this time Conn, said they are still waiting for the autopsy results.

A celebration of life for Kenley is happening Saturday at Hazelwood Christian Church in Clayton from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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