WAUPUN, Wis. (AP) — A 10-year-old Waupun boy who slipped into a coma after contracting Lyme disease continues to work toward his goal of walking again.
The disease had Kaidon Shaw fighting for his life two months ago. Now, Kaidon’s medical team and family are marking his progress along his road to recovery at American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison.
Kaidon’s condition initially wasn’t good. He continued to decline after he was taken to Children’s Hospital and within 12 hours of his arrival was placed on a ventilator.
“We were really puzzled,” said Bill Yerges, a registered nurse that provided care for Kaidon told The Reporter Media (http://fondul.ac/19QRuVd ). “He had a type of weakness progression we call Guillain-Barré, a disorder affecting the peripheral nervous system. His paralysis moved up from his lower extremities up through his chest all the way to his brainstem, putting him in a coma.”
As doctors searched for a diagnosis, they learned the Shaw family had vacationed in Waupaca County, an area known for its tick population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Wisconsin ranked sixth in the nation for the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease reported in 2012 at 1,368.
The prevalence of the disease-carrying deer ticks appears to be increasing in Wisconsin. Results of a study released last month by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire showed 35 percent of 341 deer ticks collected from 21 counties in Wisconsin from 2010 to 2013 tested positive for the disease. And, the number of positive ticks significantly increased each year of the study.
In 2010, the prevalence of positive ticks from all counties was nearly 22 percent, which increased to 32 percent in 2011, about 41 in 2012 and 51 percent in 2013.
Although Waupaca County has a healthy population of ticks, the counties with the highest rate of infected ticks are Chippewa at nearly 67 percent, Dunn at about 44 percent and Eau Claire at 36.5 percent.
Kaidon’s mother, Lynnae Shaw, urges people to take Lyme diseases seriously.
“If you find a deer tick on you and you’re not sure you’ve been bitten, go get treated,” Shaw said.
“We’re very fortunate that Kaidon’s prognosis is very good and he continues to improve a bit every day,” she said.
The Shaws are hoping Kaidon will be discharged later this month.
Information from: The Reporter Media, http://www.fdlreporter.com