East Texas Child Beats Spotted Fever

It is extremely rare and potentially deadly, but an east Texas child has beaten it: a disease called Rocky mountain spotted fever, caused by a bug bite, had the boy in its grip for weeks.

Today KLTV 7's Danielle Capper has the story of Nolan Goodwin and his remarkable recovery.

7 year old Nolan Goodwin is being called a miracle. Nolan is the youngest of ten, already their miracle baby before he got deathly ill with a disease that mystified doctors.

The most severe tick-borne illness, Rocky mountian spotted fever, originally called black measles because it appears first as a rash.

"I got the spots first here on my legs. Then it came on my arm," said Nolan.

After a week, the rash and fever appeared, getting as bad as 105 degrees.

Doctors first treated it as a non-viral rash that would go away, but when his organs were affected they sent him to Dallas.

"Already he had liver enzymes compromised, and platelets compromised and we got in an ambulance and went to Children's," said Donna Goodwin, Nolan's mom.

12 hours later, countless doctors were still unsure what it was..until Dr. McCracken, who was the only doctor who had ever seen it.

"He immediately saw the rash and said put him on the doxycycline," said Donna.

The Goodwins live on about 3 acres of land, and out here in the woods where Nolan and his brothers play is where they think Nolan got that tick bite. But the funny thing is the only tick that carries that bacteria isn't even found in Texas.

"The whole question was always where have y'all been? Where have y'all been? And we were like Tyler, Texas. And they were like no, it's not possible, it's not endemic to the state of Texas," said Donna.

Once they identified the disease they put him on the only drug it would respond to, but at that point Nolan was comatose, and doctors were unsure of his future.

But, three days later - "When he shook his head no, we were jumping up and down because he was hearing us again," said Donna.

Hearing, seeing and now playing: an miracle answer to prayer for this family and so many others.

"We are talking about an amazing network of prayer, that there is no other question about it," said Donna.

The Texas department of infections disease has only 14 reported cases in Texas this year.

Nolan and his family wanted to warn other families with kids to watch out for ticks.

Danielle Capper, reporting. dcapper@kltv.com