HAMILTON - A fun hike over the weekend quickly took a turn for the worst when a hiker needed to be rescued after a tick bite made her seriously ill.
Two Bear Air Rescue was called in to air-lift Jackie Doyle off a mountain trail south of Hamilton.
Doyle and her friend Lance Jones went for a hike up Sleeping Child trail on Sunday. Two miles up the mountain, Doyle knew she couldn’t make it back down.
“I had started getting sick to my stomach and wasn’t feeling well,” Jackie Doyle said. “l was like I can’t, I can’t go any more this is it. I’m not making it out tonight. We are either going to camp out for the night or call for help."
Jones said, “She told me she was really cold but it was so warm I got really concerned.”
Jones hiked down the mountain and drove until he got back into cell service to make a call, leaving Doyle alone on the trail.
“I was prepared," she said. "I started a signal fire in case people were coming in to look."
A few hours later paramedics arrived.
“They put me in this basket, and I hated it because I’m super claustrophobic, and they put me in the basket before Two Bear [Air] got there, and I thought they were just going to haul me out of there on foot but when they said the copter was coming to lift me in the air I was like, nope!” she said.
But Doyle stuck it out and in 5 min she was in the hospital, where her tick bite raised more concerns.
“So they looked at it and it had a big red bullseye on it and said she needs to go to St. Pats right now,” she said.
This isn’t the first time Doyle has had a bad tick bite - she says when she was a teenager, one gave her Lyme disease.
“So I’m a little worried now because they said if I got it again it could be worse, so I’m just praying that everything is okay,” Doyle said.
Doyle has another doctor’s appointment on Wednesday and is hoping for the best.
Tick bites can cause allergic reactions and paralysis due to injection of toxins from their saliva. They also carry diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease.
The Forest Service says the best way to avoid tick bites is to wear long pants, long sleeves and tuck your pant legs into socks or boots. You can also treat your clothes with tick repellent.