Southern Kentucky woman dies after battle with fungal meningitis

By: Andy Cunningham Email
By: Andy Cunningham Email

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Kentucky woman has lost her battle with a rare case of meningitis. Family members tell us Tabatha Muncy, 28, died Monday night at UK hospital.

We first told you about Muncy's battle with fungal meningitis back in October.

She came down with it around the same time as a fungal meningitis outbreak blamed on tainted steroid injections. Doctors at UK say Muncy didn't contract it that way. They believe Muncy, who suffered from diabetes, contracted the infection through soil or bird droppings. Doctors say this kind of infection is rare, but possible for those with weakened immune systems.

Her mother, Melanie Burkhart, said her daughter fought hard, but just couldn't win the battle.

"She found for three-months," said Burkhart. "We are just devastated."

She says nothing could have prepared her daughter's sudden and rare illness.

"It just came out of nowhere and when you lose a child it's like you lose part of yourself," she said.

Tabatha first began getting headaches in September, but she wasn't properly diagnosed until October when she was referred to doctors at UK Hospital.

"You can't wrap your mind around it. It's just torture," Burkhart said.

Her daughter's death only adding to an a;ready difficult year. In February Burkhart lost her fiance to cancer, her step-dad died in August and just last month her mother died of an unknown heart condition.

"I've lost everybody," she said. "I think why me? But then I think there are other people going through much worse than me."

Hare to imagine it could get much worse, she says, Christmas day, will most certainly be the worst.

"Tabatha would have already been telling me how many shopping days I had left. Without her, I don't think Christmas will ever be the same."

Anyone who wants to help with Tabatha Muncy's family with mounting medical and funeral costs can do so by making a donation in her name at Vankirk-Grisell Funeral Home in Corbin. That's also where her services will likely be held on Friday.

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