Floatzilla needs your help to break record in ninth attempt

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois- This Saturday, you could help break a world record right here in the Quad Cities.

For those that are not familiar with the event, its called Floatzilla. This is the ninth attempt to break the world record for largest flotilla, which is a bunch of boats that are close together. The canoe and kayak event is being held on Saturday, August 18th, in Sunset Park, Rock Island and five other locations along the Quad Cities riverfront.

The organization is seeking volunteers to help out this year. Volunteer opportunities are from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and include a variety of important jobs like parking, boat security and registration.

Organizers say the majority of help is needed on Saturday, but there will be opportunities for volunteers on Friday as well.

All volunteers will receive a free Floatzilla 2018 t-shirt, a pizza party and orientation and a BOAT-load of thanks for their help. Volunteers must be at least high school aged unless accompanied by an adult.

To sign up as a volunteer, visit http://www.floatzilla.org/volunteer. You may also call the River Action office at (563) 322-2969.

And tune in this Friday bright and early for GMQC, when we sit down for breakfast with the ambitious world-record pursuers.

This is why you’ll see more jet contrails in the sky today

When your Morning Meteorologist utters the words "increasing clouds," chances are you'll see more jet contrails in the day ahead. That's because jet contrails are often produced before incoming weather systems.

Not every high-flying jet produces a jet contrail. Conditions have to be just right. That includes the altitude, temperature, and moisture at flight level. Jet contrails are usually produced at altitudes greater than five miles. However, if conditions during the Winter are extremely cold, they can be produced at lower altitudes. Temperatures must be colder than -40° Fahrenheit, which isn't that uncommon, even in Summer months.

Why we are seeing more contrails than just a few decades ago

Finally, moisture is needed (which is why these occur in advance of low pressure systems). Thunderstorms being produced "upstream" boost water vapor high into the atmosphere which then spreads along jet stream winds. As jet aircraft fly through this high-humidity air, more contrails are formed.

Jet airplanes also produce water vapor (a byproduct of jet engines) which combines with exhaust particles to produce contrail clouds.

I've been asked how this affects climate and climate change. Jet airplanes are big polluters...there's no question about that! The Environmental Protection Agency reports 12 percent of all transportation-related emissions in the U.S. are from aircraft.

On the EPA's website, information concerning regulation of aircraft emissions ends in 2016.

As more people use airplanes for travel, more jet contrails are being produced. Studies show that these additional clouds are reflecting some solar radiation, possibly keeping afternoon temperatures cooler. However, as contrails are less likely to be produced at night, nighttime temperatures are trending warmer.

In a Facebook post that is more than a year old, this is what I got from the “chemtrail” crowd in just a few days. #ConspiracyTheories pic.twitter.com/7rZGg0spgS

— EricSorensen (@ERICSORENSEN) August 14, 2018

There are conspiracy theorists who believe the presence of jet contrails, which they call "chemtrails," is proof of nefarious activity. In a recent post on my Facebook page, I received more than 7,500 comments, mostly from people who believe I am purposefully lying to the public.

Bullying got personal following 2016 reporting on contrails 

Conspiracies can last a long time because they seem plausible. And then when someone believes a conspiracy to be true, they often find different things to back up their original opinion instead of facts that are contrary. That's why those craving information should be diligent with what's been proven fact. Conspiracies travel faster than jet airplanes, around the internet with no scientific consensus or factual basis.

-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen


Car crashes into crowd at Parliament, police say attack was deliberate

LONDON, England (AP) - London police say an incident in which a car was driven into a barrier near the Houses of Parliament appears to be a deliberate act.

London Assistant Police Commissioner Neil Basu say the motorist who slammed into pedestrians and cyclists near Britain's Houses of Parliament was arrested at 7:37 a.m. BST (British Summer Time) on suspicion of terrorist offenses.  The suspect is not cooperating with police.

Authorities said in a statement Tuesday that a man in his 20s was arrested on suspicion of terrorist offenses after the silver Ford Fiesta collided with a number of cyclists and pedestrians before crashing into the barriers during the morning rush hour. Two people were hurt, but authorities said none of the injuries is life-threatening.

Basu says no other suspects have been identified and there is no "intelligence" of further danger to London.

In the Kitchen with Fareway: Sticky Bananas

Sticky Bananas


  • 2 bananas
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt


Remove the peels from the bananas and slice them 1/2" inch thick. Set a nonstick skillet over medium to heat and add coconut oil, honey, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine. Add the banana slices, and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden and caramelized. Put on top of frozen yogurt, Greek yogurt, pancakes, etc.

The Score previews Annawan-Wethersfield

The Titans won a conference title and 9 games in 2017.  Brandon Johnston's team hopes to make the playoffs for the 11th straight season in this fall and make a long postseason run.  The Titans will rely on a talented group of skill position players in 2018.

The Score Previews Sterling Football

The Golden Warriors enjoyed a record setting season in 2017.  Sterling hopes to continue that success this fall.  Jon Schlemmer's team boasts size and speed and the latest group of Warriors are eager to write a new chapter of Sterling football.

Aledo woman accused of taking thousands of dollars from Mercer County school athletes

ALEDO, Illinois--The Mercer County State's Attorney says an Aledo woman faces two felony theft charges after police say she took money from the Mercer County Athletic Booster Club and school district.

State’s attorney Meeghan Lee says 43-year-old Angie Dellitt turned herself in Monday, August 13 after a $30,000 warrant was issued for her arrest.

Police say Dellitt took between $500 and $10,000 from the Mercer County School District from July 10, to July 21, last year. Dellitt is also accused of taking between $10,000 and $100,000 from the Mercer County School Athletic Booster Club over the last two years.

Dellitt was the booster treasurer and a current employee of the school district.

“We actually thought it was a bookkeeping error…I never really was satisfied with what I would be provided so I did have a feeling, but I just aired on the side of trust and I should not have,” says Chris Whitenack, President of the Mercer County Athletic Booster Club.

The booster club is a major source of support for every athletic team in the district. Last year the organization spent about $30,000 on teams on things like travel, tournament fees and equipment.

Whitenack says the money taken from the booster club could have paid for additional expenses for the team.

“We have a couple bills that we have standing that we promised last spring that hasn’t been paid yet so we’re the boosters are going to be struggling for a little bit.”

Some of those unpaid bills include new nets for the volleyball team and new mats for the wrestling team.

This is not the first time someone was accused of taking money from the booster club. Another woman was faced similar charges in 2013.

A court date has not yet been set for Dellitt, who was put on paid leave by the school district in July.

Moline High School football team taking extra safety measures

MOLINE, Ilinois  --  Moline football head coach Mike Morrissey has his players wearing extra padding on their helmets.

The padding is called Guardian Caps. They are said to absorb 33% of the impact when players hit heads. They are supposed to help prevent concussions. Morrissey bought 55 caps for the varsity team.

" Anytime we're doing contact stuff, they put these on," Morrissey said. " Every one of our players gets one on the varsity level and eventually we are hoping to get enough to go all the way through the entire roster."

The caps are only worn during practice and Morrissey says they try not to hit as hard. Varsity running back Aboubacar Barry says he thinks he gets hit harder now on varsity compared to junior varsity.

" I just haven't ever felt that kind of hit before," Barry said.

Barry says he gets almost every other play and that the guardian cap makes him feel safer. He says the padding is lightweight and he barely notices it.

Morrissey says the money for the caps came from fundraising. They need almost $2,000 to get enough caps for the junior varsity team.

Memorials taken down at Niabi Zoo without notice

COAL VALLEY, Illinois-- Over seventy memorials have been taken down at the Niabi Zoo. No one was notified of the decision that happened over a year ago.

Jo Ann Rodgers found out through a friend.

"She said I can see where plaques used to be on benches," said Rodgers. She says her nephew loved animals and the zoo which is why they chose to put up his memorial there in 2011 after fighting for his life for five years.

Family members and friends stopped by the memorial for six years to take a picture. The pictures stopped last year and now they know why.

"I went to Niabi Zoo`s page to look to see if maybe they posted something like 'hey we`re taking these down come and pick them up," said Rodgers. Nothing was up on the page.

Brayden's plaque was one of two memorials for the family. Their grandmother, Sarah Smet, also had a plaque there.

"The zoo was always really important to her and she really cherished that and really loved the train tracks so my uncle chose that spot for her," said Jessica Nagle. Nagle and her family visits the memorial every year to have a happy memory.

"They had benches with plaques near exhibits that were very special to them but that's something that we can't really guarantee for the long run because the zoo is changing," said Lee Jackson. Jackson became the zoo director two years ago and made the decision to remove the plaques.

He says most of the memorials were old and damaged. The remaining plaques sit in an office.

Jackson has a new idea for the memorials. A garden made just for the memorials to keep them all in one place.

"There was no disrespect meant. We wanted to do this better, we wanted to provide something that was a better way to honor your loved ones and your interest in the zoo," said Jackson.

The new area will come at no extra cost but for the families of Sarah and Brayden it isn't enough.

"We`re going to be looking for another memorial for her but it`s just something that should not have been done," said Nagle.


Road rage dispute on California highway leaves both drivers dead

SACRAMENTO – In the early hours of Sunday morning, a collision escalated into a physical altercation between two California drivers, leading to the deaths of both men.

The California Highway Patrol is still trying to piece together what happened in the deadly dispute along Interstate 5 outside of Sacramento. CHP officials spent most of the morning on I-5 investigating the scene, and the highway was closed for several hours.

“At about 3:44 this morning the highway patrol received reports of a traffic collision on I-5 northbound around Arena Boulevard,” said officer Mike Zerfas with North Sacramento CHP.

**Traffic Alert**CHP is investigating a major incident in the area of I-5 and Del Paso. Northbound I-5 will be shut down during this investigation. Northbound I-5 traffic is being diverted off at Arena Blvd. Traffic will be allowed back on at Elkhorn Blvd. #sacpd pic.twitter.com/T5YRZ2V8si

— Sacramento Police (@SacPolice) August 12, 2018

Officials are investigating this case as a homicide but believe the suspect is already dead.

According to the CHP, the drivers collided, then drove farther down the highway to Del Paso Road, where they fought. One of the drivers died due to injuries sustained in the altercation.

Authorities say one of the men pulled out a blunt object, beating the other and killing him.

“Fights on the freeway between angry motorists, whether it’s the result of a traffic collision or some sort of road rage type incident, occur quite often. Usually not in the middle of the lanes like it happened here,” Zerfas said.

Stretch of I-5 is shutdown while CHP investigates 2 deaths. According to CHP, 2 drivers collided early this morning. They then got into a physical fight that killed one of the drivers. The suspect was then walking on the freeway & was hit & killed by another car, CHP says @FOX40 pic.twitter.com/0FOg2lno9n

— Jessica Mensch (@Jessmensch) August 12, 2018

After the fight, the CHP says the suspect tried to leave the scene and walked into the middle of the freeway, where he was hit by a car and died.

Officers say the situation could have been avoided.

“If you’re involved in a traffic collision call 911, report the incident and let officers come out to the scene. And if there’s any type of conflict between the involved motorists that’s for us to handle,” Zerfas said.

The driver who hit the suspect stayed at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation.

The CHP says they don’t yet know whether any charges will be filed against that driver.

Quad Cities Success Fair helps veterans find work

DAVENPORT, Iowa - Some of the biggest companies in the Quad Cities area are now part of a new job fair that focuses on veterans.

The Quad Cities Success Fair will host 100 companies such as John Deere, Arconic, and Costco.  A few of the employers will even offer jobs on the spot.

James Stout, Disabled Veterans Outreach Coordinator and a disabled veteran himself, believes veterans hold a specific skill set that others can't offer.

"During basic training they learn a skill," he says. "They learn what their job is supposed to be.  They learn step one through step 10.  So they keep this in their system so they are used it."

The fair will be at the Saint Ambrose University Rogalski Center at starting at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, August 14.

Although there is a focus on veterans you do not need to be a veteran to attend.

Mollie Tibbetts is still missing after nearly 4 weeks; investigators hope a website will help in the search

(CNN) — Investigators on Monday rolled out an interactive website to help in the search for a missing Iowa college student who disappeared nearly four weeks ago.

Mollie Tibbetts, 20, was last seen jogging on the evening of July 18 in the small community of Brooklyn, Iowa, an hour east of Des Moines, according to the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office. Her family said they reported the University of Iowa student missing the next day after she didn’t show up for work at a day care.

Authorities are trying to track Tibbetts’ digital footprint and have searched ponds, fields, farms, barns, and from the air. No credible sightings have been reported.

The website, findingmollie.iowa.gov, has an interactive map and a link for the public to anonymously provide tips.

“This is just one more avenue for people to take, especially in this digital world that we live in,” said Rick Rahn, special agent in charge at the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

Rahn, who declined to reveal details about the investigation, said authorities have received more than 1,500 tips and conducted more than 500 interviews.

Authorities said they are considering all scenarios, including the possibility Tibbetts may have come into contact with someone who caused her harm, but are still treating Tibbetts’ disappearance as a missing persons case.

“We haven’t lost hope. We continue to strive to bring her back home safely. We are not frustrated,” Rahn said. “We just are diligent, and we’ll continue to do so.”

Moline teen fighting for his life after a headache turned into a life-changing diagnosis

IOWA CITY, Iowa-- A Moline teen is fighting for his life just days before he was supposed to start his freshman year of high school.

His humor, that hair, those piercing eyes, and of course, his confidence; 14-year-old Christopher Bunch was born to be known. Just check out his YouTube Channel.

"One of his dreams was to make it big on YouTube," says Christopher's dad Elijah Bunch.

But last week this big brother's life took a turn for the worst. It all started with a headache at football practice.

"If anything, I was thinking he's probably just really dehydrated," says Christopher's mom Destiny Maynard.

Christopher spent most of the next 48 hours sleeping. That's when his parents knew something was wrong.

"His progression went from zero to one hundred in a matter of four hours," says Elijah Bunch.

Christopher was rushed to the ICU in the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's hospital in Iowa City where his parents got the diagnosis. Christopher has ADEM disease. That's short for acute disseminated encephalomyelitis.

It's a rare auto immune disease that rapidly attacks the brain and spinal cord.

Iowa City doctors only see about six cases a year. And they say Christopher's is the worst case yet.

Within a matter of hours the teen stopped breathing on his own.

"From that point on, everything just spiraled downhill," says Elijah Bunch.

Now all these parents can do is pray and try to make their son's dream come true.

"He wanted to be known, and he wanted to be famous. He would have been one way or another."

Christopher proves in just 14 years on earth, you can make a difference.

"How to love people with open arms, and how to live your life and be the best you and that what he did everyday," says Destiny.

Doctors say his prognosis is quite dire.

"I'm so happy we had 14 beautiful years with him, but I'm so mad that's all that we got," says Elijah.

On Monday afternoon Christopher had more testing done at the hospital. His parents say even though things don't look good right now, their son is still fighting.

Most cases of ADEM distease are treatable, but again, doctors say Christopher's case is the worst they've ever seen.

The family has set up a donation page to help with medical expenses.

Des Moines man doused wife in lighter fluid, assaulted her in front of children

DES MOINES, Iowa (WHOtv) — A Des Moines man is facing several charges after police say he poured lighter fluid on his wife and assaulted her in front of their children.

Thirty-three-year-old Derek Brownell is charged with first degree arson, domestic abuse assault with intent to inflict serious injury, and two counts of child endangerment. The charges stem from an incident at the family’s home in the 5200 block of SE 8th Street early Sunday morning.

Criminal complaints in the case claim Brownell hit his wife in the face several times causing cuts and severe bruising and also hit her over the head with a frying pan and threw things at her. He allegedly also broke down the wall of a bedroom that a child was sleeping in and punched several holes in the wall. The complaint says he broke down the door of another room that a child was in.

The complaint says Brownell sprayed lighter fluid on his wife and “told the victim that she should kill herself and had a lighter in a nearby vicinity of his person after he sprayed her person with lighter fluid.”

Brownell is being held in the Polk County Jail.

YOUR HEALTH: Can neurostimulators really help relieve depression?

LOS ANGELES, California – Carolyn Radillo has been fighting treatment-resistant depression since she was a teenager.

"Can't focus, wasn't able to work," she explained.

"Didn't enjoy being around even my kids and other people. It was just really hard to cope with life."

She's had lots of therapy, many medications, and has been hospitalized four times, without much relief.

About 30% of adults with major depression don't respond to treatment.  - National Institutes of Health

So when her doctor told her about NeuroStar, she said "Yes".

NeuroStar delivers transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, to a part of the brain that's underactive, causing depression.

"TMS now offers another option, in terms of how to stimulate that activity, how to get those neurons to the brain firing and releasing their neurotransmitters," said Dr. Ernesty Rasisi, a psychiatrist with Los Angeles' St. Joseph Hospital.

Technicians have calibrated the coil that sends painless electrical pulses every few seconds for about 19 minutes.   Carolyn will come in for 30 treatments over six weeks.

Dr. Rasyidi says half the patients report significant relief and 30% are in remission from their symptoms without drugs.

"It's effective," said Dr. Rasyidi.

"Now, down the road, a person may experience another depressive episode and may need an additional treatment, but that's really no different than our existing treatment with medication therapy."

BACKGROUND:   Some people have clinical depression only once in their life, while others have it several times in a lifetime.   Major depression can sometimes occur from one generation to the next in families, but often it may affect people with no family history of the illness.   Clinical depression is marked by a depressed mood most of the day, particularly in the morning, and a loss of interest in normal activities and relationships, symptoms that are present every day for at least two weeks.   Symptoms might include: fatigue or loss of energy almost every day, feelings of worthlessness or guilt almost every day, impaired concentration, indecisiveness, insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) almost every day, markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities nearly every day, restlessness or feeling slowed down, recurring thoughts of death or suicide, or significant weight loss or gain. (Source: https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/major-depression#1)

Carolyn is almost finished with her treatments.

"Over the past couple weeks, I think that it's just gotten better, to where I'm seeing more frequent good days and less frequent bad days."

Dr. Rasyidi said side effects are minimal, including some scalp discomfort, twitching, and headache.

Neurostimulation is for adults who've tried a medication that didn't work or wasn't tolerated.

Most insurance companies will pay for NeuroStar treatments for depression.

If this story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Jim Mertens at jim.mertens@wqad.com or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com.

‘Cat whisperer’ wanted: Get paid to live on a Greek island, care for dozens of cats

SYROS, Greece – A cat sanctuary in Greece has been flooded with messages after advertising a one-of-a-kind position.

The chosen candidate must be willing to live on the Greek island of Syros and care for 55 cats. It’s a part-time, paid position consisting of four-hour work days with living arrangements provided.

According to a job description, Joan Bowell posted on the Facebook page for God’s Little People Cat Rescue, the perfect employee is someone who is “a genuinely passionate cat lover who knows how to handle many cats, and would love their company.”

The post reads in part:

“You’ll be responsible for caring for, feeding and medicating 55 cats — and the post notes that being a trained veterinary nurse is a bonus. You will be responsible for taking the cats to the vet in case of illness and you’ll need to be able to drive a manual car. You will live in a tiny house — paid for, with water and electricity included — featuring a “direct view of the Aegean Sea,” and you’ll also earn a salary.”

All expenses for the cats will also be paid for.

Officials said this job is most suited for someone 45+ years of age, who’s responsible, reliable, honest, practically inclined – and really, with a heart of gold, who is willing to shower these cats with love and attention.

Rescue officials said knowing something about a cat’s psychology and “cat whispering” skills are a bonus.

The unusual post has garnered so much attention that Bowell posted a follow-up on Facebook asking hopeful candidates to follow the application guidelines and “only write if making life better for Greek rescue cats is your burning desire!”

The job involves a minimum six-month commitment but is long-term. The position starts on a volunteer basis for the first two to four months, and then the paid job starts Nov. 1.

If you are interested, you’re asked to send your application with a photo and relevant information to joanbowell@yahoo.com.

The post notes that they will look through applications and do Skype calls with the most suitable candidates at the end of August.


Much needed rain is just around the corner

It was another toasty afternoon around the QCA. Once again, we’ll see that sunshine give way to a clear sky tonight with lows in the mid 60s.

We’ll kick off our Tuesday with more sunshine, and some clouds will return by the afternoon. We’ll warm back up into the upper 80s. By Tuesday night, showers and storms will be moving in from the southwest. More of these showers and storms will move through during our Wednesday morning and afternoon. Some areas may be able to pick up an inch of rain or more, which is great news for areas seeing drought conditions. Due to the rain, highs will be in the low 80s.

The rain will exit by early Thursday morning, giving us a nice afternoon. Highs will be in the low 80s. Another round of showers and storms are on track by Friday.

-Meteorologist Taylor Graham

Des Moines man facing murder charge says he was protecting himself

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A man charged with murder says his actions in an Urbandale bar fight are protected by Iowa’s “stand your ground” law.

The Des Moines Register reports that a judge has set a hearing for Aug. 20 to consider the motion filed for 49-year-old Rodney Henricksen. He’s pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the Jan. 18 death of Joshua Sadlon, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The motion says Henricksen was defending himself from an intoxicated and aggressive Sadlon. Henricksen told three people at the bar that Sadlon had threatened his life. The law says a person doesn’t have to retreat before using deadly force if he or she reasonably thinks his or her life is being threatened.

According to police reports, Henrickson punched Sadlon numerous times in the head and face, then picked up him up and slammed his head onto a concrete floor.

The motion says Henricksen was entitled to use reasonable force to preemptively strike at Sadlon to avoid injury to himself.

GOP lawmaker: FBI has evidence Russian bots were fanning flames before Charlottesville violence

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(CNN) — Republican Rep. Tom Garrett, who represents Charlottesville, Virginia, said Monday that FBI officials told him and other members of Congress that Russian actors were attempting to sow discord around the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville last year before the event took place.

Garrett revealed the information publicly for the first time in an interview on CNN over the weekend and clarified separately that the activity took place before the rally.

“It was before. Via bots, the internet, and social media,” Garrett said. “I’m frustrated because either both Republicans and Democrats do not understand what the Russians are actually doing, or they don’t want to tell the truth about it, or both.”

Garrett’s recollection of the meeting with FBI officials was confirmed by fellow Rep. Morgan Griffith, a Virginia Republican who was sitting next to him during the briefing. Griffith recalls “jumping out of his chair” when he heard the news. Garrett asked if the information was classified, and FBI officials told him it was not.

Both congressmen say the FBI was clear that the interference was contained to social media posts and the internet and that they were told that there was no evidence that there was any Russian influence on the ground.

Two sources connected to the Senate Intelligence Committee also confirmed that there is evidence of Russian activity around the Charlottesville rally. They point out that the discord was not all connected specifically to the Unite the Right Rally, but more about the debate surrounding the removal of Confederate statues across the country. The purpose of the Unite the Right Rally was to protest the removal of a statute of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from downtown Charlottesville.

Garrett, who sits on the House Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs committees, argues that the information is an example of how the federal government is not paying close enough attention to the broad implications of the Russian threat.

“Oligarchs and people like Putin use things like this racial divisive fight, which ignores the commonalities we have regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, this is the sort of thing they do,” Garrett said. “As a member of homeland security, seriously that’s what scares me most.”

Garrett’s comments were echoed by Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican, who tweeted a response to the CNN report, saying, “Few Americans understand Putin’s agents are now picking at the scabs of every cultural skirmish we have — from race to guns to media tribes.”

Mom warns parents after mosquito bite leaves 6-year-old son in ICU

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A North Carolina mom recently used Facebook to warn parents about La Crosse encephalitis, a virus transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.

“And so it’s breaking all of our hearts to see the spunkiest one out of five brothers down,” LoriAnne Surrett told WLOS .

The heartfelt words about her son Noah have been shared more than 1,400 times on Facebook.

Her 6-year-old was hospitalized last weekend. Saturday he complained of a headache and eventually had a seizure.

“I’ve got five kids, and this is absolutely the scariest thing I’ve every been through in my life,” she said. “I literally thought my kid was gone when I saw him.”

Before this past weekend, Surrett said she’d never heard of the disease, which is transmitted by a bite from an infected mosquito. According to the CDC, there are about 63 cases each year.

La Crosse encephalitis often involves inflammation of the brain, and, along with seizures, it can cause coma and paralysis.

“This is something no parent should have to go through over a mosquito bite,” Surrett said.

She said doctors are hopeful antibiotics and seizure medication will help. Noah’s mostly asleep in his hospital room as he recovers. He will likely spend at least five more days in the hospital.

“He screams out in pain from the headaches, and he’s really just like a zombie,” Surrett said. “It’s scary, it’s really scary. I don’t want no parent to have to go through this.”

Surrett hopes her 768 heartbreaking words on Facebook encourage other parents to watch for symptoms, including fever, headache and nausea.

“I’ve lived here my whole life. They say it’s known and common, but I’ve never heard of it and I want people to know that this can happen.”

Surrett said she and her husband took every precaution they could to prevent mosquito bites. She’s been encouraged by the outpouring of love on social media.