rat lungworm disease

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Hurricane Rita

Hurricane Rita

Hurricane Rita served 2 tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and speaks Korean and Mandarin Chinese.

Rita is not your average girl next door. Upon leaving the military she took up Ultra-marathons, instructed Zumba as well as Masala Bhangra Workouts. She has been a salsa dance instructor, a river guide who has traveled to 14 different countries and run ultra races in 7 of them.

She was chosen as a contestant for '72 Hours' on the TNT channel - a reality television competition filmed in Fiji. It was there that she contracted Rat Lungworm Disease.

Three days after she returned to the states from Fiji, she found herself in the Emergency Room. Three weeks later, she was admitted to the hospital at Phoenix VA Medical Center, having brought back with her many, many brain eating parasites from a slug she ate while filming the show. She was paralyzed from the waist down. Her colon and bladder were shut down and she'd gone from running 20 miles easily for fun to barely being able to flex her feet. She'd lost ALL reflexes, and even a light breeze was excruciatingly painful on her skin.

When she underwent her first spinal tap, her glucose levels were deathly low.

Below deathly low.

She shouldn't have even been alive. But she was.

And she still is.

In December 2012, her 30th birthday, she was released on a walker with the ability to stand for only 15 minutes at a time. By January 11, 2013 she bought her first gym membership to Paramount Sports Complex in Annville, PA. Later that same month she went to her first Zumba class and made it through two songs.

In April 2013, 3 1/2 months of hard work she taught her first scheduled Zumba class at Paramount and in May - only 4 1/2 months out of the hospital she ran her first 5K race.

With 5 and a half months of grueling work later, she taught 10 separate fitness classes in 14 days and by Nov 23, 2013, nearly a year after being released from the hospital, she ran her first 5K race in under 26 minutes. Read her story on her website

Part One

Part Two

An update of her remarkable story can be seen on her website at: www.tomorrowsnotguarenteed.com


Hurricane Rita is known to her friends and family as Aurita Maldonado. The screen capture from a Facebook post by her below is a small window into the present reality that Aurita lives in today as a recovering victim of Rat Lungworm Disease. Her physical therapy started in 2012 and after six years you can see what effect this terrible disease still holds for her - and she is as hardcore determined as any person in recovery has ever been.

Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Rita


This information is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute for consultation with a health care provider. If you have any questions about the parasites described above or think that you may have a parasitic infection, consult a health care provider.

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