Pennsylvania Boy is on the Road to Recovery after Contracting Tick-Borne Disease


After being bitten by a tiny tick, a Pennsylvania boy is making strides towards recovery.

Jonny Simoson, three years old, was swimming in a neighbor’s pool when his mother noticed a small spot on his right shoulder blade. It was approximately the size of a pen tip, according to The New York Post.

Jamie, Jonny’s mother, easily removed the tick, which wasn’t embedded, with a pair of tweezers, she told the New York Post.

Two days later, a red bump appeared on Jonny’s back.

It wasn’t until two weeks later when Jonny was not acting like himself.

“He was mopey, had no appetite, and the fact that he was complaining about a headache was not normal for a 3-year-old,” Jamie wrote in a Facebook post.

In the days that followed, his symptoms became worsened. His family took him in to see a doctor, who prescribed some medication.

“We called the doctor the very next morning, and I said he’s sleeping a lot and that’s really not like him,”Jamie shared his thoughts with the New York Post.

The New York Post reported that her son’s fever had risen up to 104 degrees and she rushed him to the ER.

According to WKRC, when Jonny’s parents rushed him to the hospital, his white blood cell count had grown to 30,000; a normal count for someone 3 years or older is 5,000-10,000.

Jonny had to be transferred to a specialist physician.

“Things got really scary at that point,”Jamie shared his thoughts with the New York Post. “It was so frustrating searching for an answer. We were terrified that we might not be coming home with our child.”

According to the New York Post, neurologists were able determine that Jonny had meningoencephalitis. This is a condition in which the brain and delicate tissue surrounding it are infected. The outlet reported that intravenous immunoglobulin therapy (a treatment for patients suffering from antibody deficiencies) showed encouraging results.

Jamie believes that the treatment brought back her son, according to the New York Post.

“Within 15 hours of his first dose, I heard ‘Mommy, is that pepperoni pizza?’”According to her, she spoke with the New York Post.

Although the outlet claimed it was a tissue box, Jonny thought it looked more like a pizza box. According to the New York Post, he just wanted a slice.

After being unconscious for almost five days, Little Jonny was awake again and began speaking.

“It was amazing. That was the first time since the whole situation started that my husband and I both just completely broke down,”Jamie shared his thoughts with the New York Post.

According to the outlet, Jonny was released from hospital after twelve days.

“Jonny was still not walking, and his balance was poor,” Jamie told the New York Post. “We knew we had a ton of work to do but were up for the challenge.”

Jamie told the outlet that Jonny tested positive for Powassan virus, a rare and dangerous disease spread by ticks, three days after he was released.

“Since there are not a lot of confirmed cases, we are nervous about what his future might hold and the potential long-term effects, but overall pleased with his progress,” Jamie told the New York Post.

The family created a Facebook page following Jonny’s journey since the tick bite. Jonny had been enjoying fun in the water while also working with a physical therapist.

“We want everyone to be aware of the real risks associated with tick-borne illnesses and be vigilant when it comes to prevention and symptom recognition,”Jamie shared his thoughts with the New York Post. “A tiny tick could have taken our sweet boy from us. We are so lucky to be able to share his story.”