TULSA, Okla. (AP) â€“ An Oklahoma family suffered the unbearable loss of a 6-year-old son to Rocky Mountain spotted fever and the joyous birth of another son within 24 hours over the weekend.
Tommy Carlson of Monroe died Saturday after battling the disease transmitted by ticks. He had undergone amputations on the lower portion of both of his legs, his left hand and the tips of his fingers on his right hand since becoming ill in July. The Rocky Mountain spotted fever was causing his organs to shut down. On Aug. 10, a surgery showed that three-fourths of his stomach tissue was dead. Then he developed heart and kidney trouble.
Tommy died at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Nancy Carson gave birth at 3:55 a.m. Sunday to Adrianno McBride Carlson.
Separating emotions between the two events has been difficult for the family from the small town of Monroe in southeastern Oklahoma.
"I had two boys, and that's the way it will be," Carlson said. "My son left us with a lot of good memories."
Carlson and her husband, Dennis, were with Tommy when he died Saturday morning at St. Francis Hospital.
"I know my son's in heaven and he's not suffering anymore," Mrs. Carson said. "He always told me he wanted to be an angel, so in this way he'll be that."
Mrs. Carlson was already in the hospital because doctors had tried to induce labor the night before because she had high blood pressure. She was taken off the labor-inducing drug about 3 a.m. Saturday because her labor wasn't progressing.
Doctors came to the family Saturday morning with the news that Tommy's condition was worsening.
Mrs. Carlson said she told her husband she couldn't cope with her son's death. But her mother arrived to help give her strength.
"She told me to let him go â€“ that he'd suffered enough," Mrs. Carlson recalled.
Before she could ask how to let him go, she was having health problems. She was experiencing chest pains and high blood pressure and doctors decided to induce labor again. and began procedures for a Cesarean birth.
Both mother and infant are in good condition.
"We wish to thank all of the kind and generous people who have reached out to us during this difficult time," the Carlson family said in a statement Monday. "The acts of kindness have come in all forms from prayers to cards to gifts."