Zachary Reyna, 12, is currently fighting for his life due to a rare infection he contracted while having some kid-friendly fun.
Reyna was playing with a knee board in a ditch filled with water near his home in Labelle, Florida, when doctor’s believe the Naegleria Fowleri infection, which causes PAM or primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, entered his brain through contaminated water via his nose–leading into his brain to essentially attack and eat away at it.
Naegleria Fowleri is an extremely rare illness, with only about 120 cases reported in the US since it was discovered in the 1960s. Of these cases, only three people have lived. If Reyna recovers he will be the fourth in the world to survive the disease.
Reyna is now being treated in the intensive care unit at Miami’s Children Hospital. His dad says the deadly amoeba is gone and brain swelling is down. He says antibiotics killed the amoeba and Reyna no longer has PAM, but the family understands that although the worst is over, Reyna still has a long way to go.
“Extensive damage was done to his brain and we need to pray for any form of activity to come from his brain. I feel like Zac was in a slump, all ball players go through them. We all do. As his Dad and Coach I do all I can to help him get out of it by giving him extra training and making adjustments to his swing. We all go through tough times and we need to find God and prayer to get through,” Reyna’s father posted on his Facebook page.
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