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Oklahoma Victim Of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Is Warning Others

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Linda Rhodes, who is a former nurse, said she also contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever while visiting Grand Lake this spring. Linda Rhodes, who is a former nurse, said she also contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever while visiting Grand Lake this spring.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

A Shawnee mother of two is in a devastating battle with a tick-borne illness. The disease quickly spread throughout her body, forcing doctors to amputate both her arms and legs.

Linda Rhodes, who is a former nurse, said she also contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever while visiting Grand Lake this spring. It’s the same lake where the other victim contracted it. She kept track of when she discovered the bite a move she explains may have saved her life.

8/12/15 Related Story: Shawnee Mother Undergoes Multiple Amputations After Tick Bite

While on a walk with her dogs at Grand Lake, Linda Rhodes received a single tick bite near her hip. Something not out of the ordinary for her since moving to Chandler several years ago.

“You get used to them and just pull them off make sure you get the whole thing and dab it with alcohol and Neosporin,” said Rhodes.

Rhodes found this bite four days after returning home from the lake--she felt it was unlike others she's had.

“I circled the calendar because I had a hard time getting it out, and for some reason I had a funny feeling about that tick,” she said.

Several days later, Rhodes began to develop the symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

“I just felt tired and achy,” she said.

Her legs became covered in a fine bumpy rash, commonly seen with the disease. Her rash and most of the symptoms are now gone after taking a prescription.

But a Shawnee mother saw a more severe side of the disease. Jo Rogers contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever after she was bitten by a tick at Grand Lake on the Fourth of July.

Her family told News 9 she began having flu like symptoms, but by day six doctors said her organs were shutting down. Misdiagnosis and bacteria from the tick bite spread fast throughout Jo's body, forcing doctors to remove her arms and legs to keep her alive.

Rhodes believes the mother's extreme case of the disease should be a sobering reminder for all of us.

“If you pull one off you, your children, your friend, circle that calendar because it's really easy to forget,” said Rhodes.

By keeping track of when you discovered the tick bite Rhodes explains, it will help you watch for any symptom that may manifest from any tick-borne illness.

Learn more about Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever 

If you’d like to help Jo Rogers and her family fund her recovery visit her Go Fund Me page.

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