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Little Girl Dies After Fire Ant Attack

March 1, 1988

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) _ A 16-month-old girl pushed onto a fire ant mound by the family’s dog has died of hundreds of insect bites, officials said Tuesday.

The bites probably would not have killed Tiffany Cheatham if she had not had a severe allergic reaction, said her physician, Rex Northup. She had been ″essentially comatose″ since she was hospitalized, Northup said.

Tiffany was declared brain dead Monday night, said Kathy Musial, spokeswoman for Sacred Heart Hospital.

The cause of death was anaphylactic shock in combination with toxic poisoning, Northup said.

Tiffany was rushed to the hospital Feb. 23 after the dog pushed her into an ant hill near her home in Navarre, 20 miles east of Pensacola, said Chief Don Van Derryt of the Holley-Navarre Fire and Rescue Association.

The girl’s mother, Lynn Cheatham, and a neighbor had tried to remove the ants, taking off Tiffany’s clothes and putting her in a bathtub, but many of the insects were entangled in her hair.

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