Kentucky family gets hit with Zika virus
PADUCAH, KY —
The Carroll family is originally from Murray, but their love for helping others guided them to Haiti. They’ve been living there for the past 16 months, working as missionaries for Heart of Gold Haiti.
The oldest son, Chantry Carroll, is in school at Murray State University. He went to visit the family in Haiti over Christmas break, and that’s when things started to go badly.
"Chantry got it, and I didn’t know what it was," says mother Jennifer Carroll.
The 21-year-old just kept telling his mom he didn’t feel well, but Jennifer had no idea what was wrong with her son.
Then, like a domino effect, it started hitting the rest of the family.
"I mostly had a headache, and was hurting behind my eyes the whole time really badly," says 13-year-old Cole Carroll.
By this time, Jennifer knew the family had been exposed to Zika, a mosquito-borne virus, and it was taking them down one at a time.
The third victim was Jennifer. She had symptoms similar to strep throat, except her hands and feet were painfully swollen.
"When you’re a mom, you just can’t stop," says Jennifer. "You have to power through the pain."
Soon after, dad Jason Carroll got hit by the virus.
"I was broken out with a rash all over my body," says Jason. "Then the next day I stopped itching, but I felt like I got hit by a train. It hurt all over and just didn’t feel good."
Then it was 12-year-old Callie Carroll’s turn.
"It felt to me like it was malaria again, because I was just miserable," says Callie.
Jennifer says there wasn’t much they could do but take Tylenol and Benedryl and hope for the best. She says symptoms were typically gone by day five.
Now that everyone is feeling back to normal, Jennifer says they’ll be stocking up on the mosquito repellent.