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Mother hopes daughter's Lyme disease diagnosis can educate others

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WHEELING, W.Va. - The woman says her daughter woke up with a headache and within hours, she couldn't walk and had a fever of 104 degrees.

“This was probably the scariest three days of my life as a mother,” said Natalie Walsh, who posted photos on Facebook with a warning to parents after her 7-year-old daughter developed a lump on her head and got very sick.

“She's my youngest of three, plus I'm a nurse so I've see a lot of things,” Walsh said. “I've never seen a child get that sick that fast.”

Walsh took her daughter to a Wheeling, West Virginia hospital, but they said it was a just a spider bite.   


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 “I asked her if she could walk.  She said she couldn’t.”

After another day and worsening symptoms, Walsh took her daughter to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh.

After hours of tests, doctors there finally determined it was Lyme disease though the symptoms and the tick bite didn't quite match up to what they usually see.

“I was really sick, couldn't walk, I almost lost my voice,” Natasha Walsh said.

She’s now home and feeling better, and her mother is hoping to warn other parents.

“It broke my heart.  It was the scariest thing I've ever seen.  No child should have to go through that if it's preventable.”

Experts say our mild winter could mean more ticks carrying dangerous diseases.

Lyme disease can take around 24 hours to be transmitted after a bite.