Child diagnosed with encephalitis in Delaware County

ASHLEY, OH (WCMH) — A six-year-old girl had to be hospitalized and suffered a total of three seizures.

The family was fearing the worse.

“I thought, I’m going to lose her,” said mother Carmelle Smith.

This six-year-old named Helen Smith had become sick a day after she received a vaccine.

Her parents say she was tired, not eating, and complained of headaches, but her parents thought it was just the side effects of the vaccine.

Then little Helen’s situation became worse.

“She started having a seizure what they call a focal seizure it was in her left arm, up and through her neck and on the left side,” said her father Jeff Smith

The little six-year-old had contracted La Crosse encephalitis. A disease transmitted by a mosquito bite.

According to the CDC. it usually causes inflammation of the brain that leads to seizures, a coma, paralysis, and sometimes death.

“It was really heartbreaking for me,” said Carmelle.

She remained in the hospital for a week being tested and suffered two additional seizures.

Now this family is able to breathe a little easier.

Helen is now back home smiling and being a kid.

“It makes you nervous but you can’t stop life because of something really unusual happening,” said Jeff.

The family added through their story they hope they it keeps other parents aware of the dangers hiding in their own backyards.

“It’s a wakeup call,” said Jeff “You don’t think about these things but they’re out there.”

The family said they are not completely out of the woods yet. They still have to go back to the doctor for more blood work to be done. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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