Watch an exclusive clip from this week’s Monsters Inside Me on Animal Planet below — as a mum-of-two recounts her terrifying ordeal after catching Valley Fever, a deadly disease that lurks in dust.
Kyleigh Cooyar first noticed something was wrong when her stomach began to swell, before she developed a serious rash which spread across her skin.
After being rushed to hospital by husband Vandi, doctors struggled to diagnose what was wrong with her.
But after an ultrasound revealed liquid in her abdomen they took a sample — using a HUGE 12in needle to pierce her belly.
The liquid was sent off to the lab and she was soon diagnosed with Valley Fever, caused by the Coccidioides immitis fungus found in soil in the American southwest.
But there was more bad news; not only had spores infected her lungs, but the illness had also spread to her brain causing deadly Valley Fever Meningitis.
Expert Dr. John Galgiani, of the UA Valley Fever Center for Excellence, said: “It’s really the worst complication untreated. It essentially kills all people within two years.”
After being given powerful anti-fungals, Kyleigh, from Oakland, California, was able to finally recover to a point where she was strong enough to return home. But she must keep taking medication for the illness for the rest of her life.
Kyleigh believes she caught Valley Fever while on a family holiday in central California, when they were stopped on a freeway for an hour-and-a-half next to road-works kicking up dust.
When soil containing Coccidioides immitis is disturbed, it can release spores which cause infection when inhaled.
Watch the exclusive Monsters Inside Me clip below.
An all-new episode of Monsters Inside Me airs tonight at 10/9c on Animal Planet.