ORLANDO, FL — A 6-year-old Orlando boy who was scratched or bitten by a bat and contracted rabies has died. Ryker Roque died at an Orlando hospital on Sunday, according to a post from the online fundraising website GoFundMe.
“We fought, Ryker fought very hard, he is our soldier,” the post said. “We lost our fight today, January 14, 2018. We have to lay or angel to rest now.”
Ryker’s father, Henry Roque, lost his job during the ordeal and now the family seeks donations and prayers, the post said.
The boy was bitten by a bat and became infected with the rabies virus, the post said. Two weeks later, the boy began experiencing spasms and couldn’t walk, so they rushed him to the hospital.
Multiple media outlets reported that Ryker’s father found a bat and placed it into a bucket. Henry Roque told the boy not to touch it, he said, but Ryker reached in and touched the animal anyway. Henry said the bat scratched his son.
He told NBC News that he frantically Google searched what to do, so he washed his son’s hands with soap and hot water for several minutes. The boy was scared of getting a rabies shot though, so he didn’t receive treatment soon enough.
Later, Ryker started experiencing finger numbness and a headache.
According to Today.com, Henry Roque said: “They went frantically looking for the other doctors to tell them that it was a bat and how severe it was. And then they all came in. We had a conference and they explained to me that it’s almost always lethal.”
He was put into a medically induced coma and underwent a treatment known as the “Milwaukee Protocol” in hopes of saving his life. The treatment has saved the lives of two other children in America.
Photo of Ryker via GoFundMe
According to the Mayo Clinic, rabies is a deadly virus that spreads to people from the saliva of infected animals and is usually transmitted through a bite. Bats are among the animals most likely to transmit rabies in America. Once symptoms of rabies begin to show, the disease is nearly always fatal, the organization said.
Symptoms include: fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, agitation, anxiety, confusion, hyperactivity, excessive salivation, hallucinations, insomnia and partial paralysis.
Rabies kills more than 59,000 people every year, mostly children in Africa and Asia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Photo credit: Ian Waldie/Getty Images