58-year-old Tamela Wilson worked at the Meramec State Park in Missouri for over 10 years.
For Tamera, ticks and bugs were an occupational hazard — if she ever saw one on her, she’d simply pluck it off and brush it off.
In May of 2017, Tamela pulled two ticks off her body and went about her work day. Within days, she felt strange symptoms and was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection.
After that, she experienced extreme muscle fatigue, headaches, and skin rashes. She was brought to the hospital where doctors found that her white blood cell count was very low.
Tamela was tested for every tick-borne disease, but all the results came back negative.
Days passed, and Tamela and her family prayed for answers. Unfortunately, her health only got worse. She was diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), an immune condition that caused more rashes to spread — even to her mouth.
Tamela’s daughter, Amie, shared, “I’m a nurse and I’ve never seen anything like I’d seen my mother’s mouth. It got so bad toward the end she couldn’t talk, couldn’t drink, couldn’t eat — nothing.”
After three weeks of being admitted to the hospital, Tamela passed away.
Today, Amie is warning everyone about the extremely rare tick-borne illness that took her mother’s life. Doctors confirmed that Tamela is only the fifth case of this disease since it was first discovered in 2014.