Tick bites leave 5-year-old girl hospitalized, unable to swallow or move amid ‘tick paralysis'

A 5-year-old Ohio girl suffered from tick paralysis after her mother found two Dogwood ticks the size of a quarter on her head hiding behind her ear, a report said last week. 

"I fell face first into the bathroom,” Averey, who was admitted to the ICU at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, told Cincinnati’s Fox 19

Her mother Sami Mell posted an update on her daughter’s condition on Aug. 4. 

“When we got to ICU, I noticed a lump in her hair. It was a tick. I searched her and found another at the back of her head in neckline,” Mell said.

Doctors intubated Averey due to her not being able to swallow her spit and choking on it, the mother said.

“She is fighting still every step of the way. Which is so reassuring because I know my spunky, headstrong daughter is still here,” she said.  

Averey was able to go home last Tuesday, Fox 19 reported. 

"The infectious disease doctor of 30 years said he’s never seen nothing like it,” Dave Goslin, who is Averey’s grandfather, told the station.

Tick paralysis is a rare disease thought to be caused by a toxin in tick saliva, according to the CDC. The symptoms include “acute, ascending, flaccid paralysis” that is often confused with other neurological disorders or diseases such as Guillain-Barré syndrome or botulism, the CDC said. The paralysis typically subsides within 24 hours of removing the tick. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.