A wife and mother who faced death after her visit to Yosemite National Park is now suing the park for $3.25 million.
Cathy Carrillo, a Southern California woman, is speaking out about the terrifying experience she went through after contracting the hantavirus at the park last June, the AP reports.
"I couldn't walk at all, I couldn't move my arms or anything," Carrillo said in the ABC video . She said nearly a year after becoming ill, she's still struggling with her speech, her lung capacity is reduced, and her energy level is nothing like it was before. Carrillo also said her medical bills total close to a million dollars.
"The doctors at the hospital said I was a miracle because they didn't know if I was going to pull through," she said.
Last summer, the virus killed three Yosemite visitors and sickened seven others. In 2011, half of the hantavirus patients in the U.S. died from the disease, although human cases of the virus remain extremely rare, ABC reports.
People contract the disease by inhaling the virus contained in mice feces and urine, and investigators determined deer mice were living in the double-wall tents at Yosemite, the Los Angeles Times reports. The park has since replaced the tents with single-wall tents, set 18,000 mouse traps and printed hantavirus warnings in the park newspaper and in reservation confirmation letters.
According to the suit, the Delaware North Company, the management group in charge of maintaining the park's resorts, knew about the virus as far back as 2008 and did not warn visitors. The Delaware North Company says it cannot comment on pending litigation, but in an email to ABC confirmed, "All the Yosemite Valley cases of hantavirus were associated with a double-wall, insulated tent cabin design, which have all been removed."