Boy loses fight against brain-eating parasite

12-year-old Zachary Reyna died at a hospital in Miami with his family by his side, exactly three weeks after contracting the parasite. (Via NBC)

Zachary’s family believes he became infected while kneeboarding near his home with his friends in a water-filled ditch earlier this month. Zachary was the only one infected. (Via KFOR)

CNN reports the parasite is so rare only 32 cases were reported in the country between 2001 and 2010. It’s most commonly found in warm freshwater in the southeast.

Doctors gave Zachary and experimental drug to treat the infection.

It was the same antibiotic given to a 12-year-old girl in Arkansas earlier this year. She became the third person in the last 50 years to survive the life threatening parasite. This was encouraging to the family. (Via WINK)

His family said they thought he had beaten the amoeba, but he had extensive brain damage.

“Doctors performed two tests looking for brain activity on Saturday and found none. Zac’s family says doctors pronounced him dead right before 2:00 Saturday afternoon.” (Via WBBH)

Zachary’s father released a statement shortly after he died, reading in part …

“I hope that Zac continues to touch people and his time here is remembered forever … The battle is over for Zac but he won the war.” (Via Facebook / Pray4Number4 - Zachary Reyna)

Zachary’s body is being kept on a ventilator so his organs can be donated. So far, funeral arrangements haven’t been made.

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