Zachary Reyna, a 12-year-old Florida boy who succumbed to a rare and deadly brain-eating amoeba, dies from complications known as amoebic meningoencephalitis. Reyna had been trying to fight the infection with antibiotics.
The boy’s family had held out hope he would survive after recently announcing the amoeba was gone, but doctors feared he may have suffered severe brain damage had he survived.
“Wake up child it’s YOUR TIME TO SHINE! Continued prayers please #pray4number4 #wakeupzac #prayer #powerofprayer,” Zachary’s sister Amanda tweeted Saturday morning.
It was not long after that her brother passed away.
“At 1:54 today there was a crack of a bat heard. Zac took it deep. My boy hit his homerun. One that I’ll never forget,” the boy’s devastated father wrote. “I’m so proud of him. He left it all on the field and I can’t ask for more. He did so well that he’ll be the starting 2nd baseman for The Lords team.”
Reyna”s plight has caught the attention of Florida and the rest of the nation.
The Facebook page set up looking for donations to help pay for the suffering young boy has more than 10,000 likes, with baseball players and celebrities, including Taylor Swift sending presents and messages of support.
Improvement in Zachary’s condition was highlighted by his father on the page, and based on the hope that he will be the fourth person to survive the amoeba.
“We were told this morning that the antibiotics have defeated the infection. Tests showed negative activity from the amoeba,” Jesse Reyna wrote Thursday.
Zachary fell critically ill after playing on a knee board with friends in a ditch near his LaBelle, Florida home on August 3.
The single-cell Naegleria Fowleri or brain-eating amoeba, lives in warm fresh water and attacks the brain after entering the body through the nose.
It can take up to a week for the infection to show symptoms, which include headaches, fever, vomiting and seizures. A 12-year-old girl who developed the condition in July is still recovering after managing to fight off the infection. Kali Hardig came in contact with the amoeba as she swam in a sandy bottom lake at Willow Springs Water Park near Little Rock, Arkansas.