FLEMINGSBURG | "Monsters Inside Me," a show on Animal Planet which features stories of parasites that live on or inside the human body, will feature the story of Shannon Reid on Nov. 16.

Reid was a 15-year-old student at Fleming County High School, who contracted the rabies virus in 2003.  Her family and doctors were unaware of the disease being in Reid's system, and she had no visible marks from a bite or scratch to hint that she might have come in contact with the disease.  However, on June 2, 2003, Reid died at the University of Kentucky Children's Hospital.

An autopsy showed Shannon had contracted rabies.

"We didn't know until a couple of months after she passed that she had contracted rabies," said Reid's mother, Patty.  "I couldn't believe it.  I thought, 'this is the 21st century.  People don't get rabies.'"

Patty Reid said after losing her daughter, she and her husband, Tony, began a campaign to make people aware that rabies can still threaten people. 

"We wanted to let people know that it can happen and that they should have their pets vaccinated and be aware of other animals, who might not have been vaccinated," she said.

Until three years ago, the Reids held a motorcycle run on Labor Day weekend, to raise money for rabies awareness.  The run ended only after Patty Reid's mother fell ill.

In 2010, the Reids contacted State Rep. Mike Denham about a resolution in Shannon's name.  Denham presented a bill to the Kentucky General Assembly, and on March 4, 2010, the House declared June to be Shannon Reid Rabies Awareness Month.

The Reids continue to give a scholarship to graduating seniors from FCHS.  They began the scholarship fund in their daughter's name in 2005 for students from FCHS. The first scholarship went to their daughter's best friends.

"We wanted to start it the year Shannon would have graduated and give it to the two best friends she would have graduated with," Patty Reid said.

Patty Reid said she received a voicemail from a woman named Liz, from Animal Planet, in 2011, saying the channel wanted to feature her daughter on their 'Monsters Inside Me' show.

"I was excited," said Patty.  "It's a big deal to be on national television.  And, it will make people aware that rabies is still a risk."

Patty Reid said the show will be airing videos of Shannon, instead of a reenactment. 

"We don't know what to really expect," she said.  "But, I was told they were going to use the videos we took of her."

The show is set to air on Nov. 16 at 8 p.m.  The show will be titled "I Coughed Up Worms."  Along with Reid, it will feature stories from two other girls, Brittney McWilliams and Lisa Mallet.

"We hope this will help people realize that rabies is still serious," said Patty Reid.  "I never thought about it and we never vaccinated our pets.  Now, though, we vaccinate them and we encourage others to do the same."

The Center for Disease Control website says more than 55,000 people die from rabies each year worldwide, and the majority of those cases are children under 15. And although it remains relatively rare in the U.S. -- only 28 people have died in this country over the past 10 years -- it can still pose a danger.

The disease is mostly found in raccoons, skunks and bats.  If bitten, medical attention should be sought out immediately.  Treatment can administered, but once the disease spreads to the brain, nothing can be done.

In order to prevent the disease from spreading after a bite, five shots are give over a period of 14 days.  The first shot will be near the bite and the others in the arm.

"It's different now," said Patty.  "Years ago, you had to have 26 shots in the stomach and it was extremely painful.  Now, you can get them in the arm and it's nowhere near as bad."

It can take many months for symptoms to begin appearing, according to the CDC.  However, by then, the disease is most likely fatal.

The best way to help prevent rabies exposure is the have all pets vaccinated. 

Anyone with questions regarding rabies, the symptoms or prevention can visit http://www.cdc.gov/rabiesandkids/.

(2) comments

Karen K

IT TAKES A LOT OF STRENGTH AND CHARACTER TO DO WHAT PATTY AND HER HUSBAND DO TO HELP SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT RABIES. I ADMIRE THEM FOR THEIR COURAGE IN TRYING TO PREVENT OTHERS FROM SUFFERING AS THEY HAVE I KNOW SHANNON'S WATCHING OVER THEM AND VERY PROUD OF WHAT THEY ARE DOING....

Kath

Mr and Mrs Reid, I just saw Shannon's story on the discovery channel. This touched me in a way that nothing has before. I admire your strong faith through all of your struggles. even though I never knew Shannon, i will remember her as an inspiration to lead a more joyful and compassionate life. Your family and Shannon's soul are in my prayers. God Bless and thank you for all you continue to do!

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