SAN FRANCISCO -- Three weeks ago, 8-year-old Precious Reynolds had rabies. She was comatose in the University of California-Davis Children's Hospital, her body fighting off a vicious infection that almost no one survives.
Her grandmother sat beside her bed daily. Shirlee Roby recalls telling her granddaughter, an avid wrestler in California's Humboldt County town of Willow Creek, that she had "a big bad bug inside her. ... I told her she had to put him on the mat and put him in a half-nelson and pin him. And by golly if she didn't do it."
Today, Precious is one of only three people in the United States, and the first in California, known to have survived rabies. Until very recently, a rabies diagnosis was considered a death sentence.