Parents warn of summer danger that took their daughter’s life

Kenley Ratliff was like any other happy 2-year-old, a healthy baby girl with her whole life ahead of her.

Sadly, the family was recently hit by a horrendous tragedy and Kenley was taken away from them way too soon.

Now Kenley’s mother wants to inform other parents about her daughter’s death so that it doesn’t affect more children. 

Kenley lived in Indiana with her family. Like most 2-year-olds, she loved playing outdoors on the lawn. People are always saying how kids should be outdoors and enjoy the fresh air. For Kenley, this regular and fun kids’ activity turned out to be deadly. 

You see, in the grass field there lied a danger that was going to cost her something no one expected – her life.

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One night a couple of weeks ago, Kenley suddenly developed a high fever. Her parents rushed her to the hospital where the doctors suspected she had a typical throat infection. Thinking she would get better soon they sent the family home.  Her condition however didn’t improve and the family had to return to the hospital. Once again, they were sent home.

To her parents’ horror, Kenley’s condition became worse. Her temperature rose, her hands got swollen and she developed a rash all over her body.

 “Just the condition of this poor baby laying there the way she was, it’s a mother’s nightmare, a father’s nightmare,” Nichol Kirby, friend of the family, told WISH.

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It seemed the nightmare was only getting worse. On May 30, once again, Kenley’s parents had to rush their little girl to the emergency room. This time however, it seemed to have finally dawned on the doctors how bad her condition really was. She was admitted and given antibiotics.

The doctors discovered that Kenley was suffering from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, a disease that animals transmit to humans through ticks. Symptoms usually include fevers, rashes and bacterial infections. Kenley had contracted an infection which had made its way to her brain.

Kenley’s parents were quick to start a GoFundMe page to raise money for her treatment.

“She is currently on a breathing machine to stay alive, but she is surrounded by her loving family. We are hoping for a miracle right now for this sweet baby,” the family posted on the site at the time.

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All hope was sadly lost on June 3. The miracle they were hoping for never came and the family was forced to make the difficult decision of turning her respirator off.

Kenley Ratliff passed away in her sleep with her mother, father and big sister by her side. She only lived to be 2-years-old.

Although grief-stricken and heartbroken, her family still want other parents to know about their daughter’s death, in the hope that it might save other children who might catch the same disease in the future.

“Our goal is to spread awareness of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in hopes of saving other children’s lives,” the family wrote. “Please continue to spread awareness!”

Even though you might already know how dangerous ticks can be ­– there are people who don’t! Please help spread this family’s warning and always examine you and your childrens’ bodies carefully after being outdoors.

A tick can be difficult to detect if you’re not actively looking for it, and the sooner it’s removed, the less of you or your loved ones risk an infection.

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