The brain-eating parasite Naegleria fowleri has taken the life of 12-year-old Zachary Reyna on Saturday. Kali Hardig, the 12-year-old girl from Arkansas, is only the third survivor of the deadly swimming parasite that causes parasitic meningitis. Like Kali Hardig, Zachary Reyna had received an experimental drug to treat the brain-eating parasite but on Saturday afternoon, Zachary lost his battle with the parasite Naegleria fowleri, reported CNN on Aug. 25, 2013.
On Saturday, Zachary Reyna’s parents wrote about his death on Zachary’s Facebook page.
“At 1:54 today there was a crack of a bat heard. Zac took it deep. My boy hit his homerun. … The battle is over for Zac but he won the war.”
According to a report on Aug. 13, 2013, 12-year-old Zachary Reyna had contracted the deadly brain-eating parasite Naegleria fowleri while knee-boarding in a ditch near his LaBelle home. After developing the typical symptoms of fever, vomiting, stiff neck, headache, light sensitivity, irritability, sleepiness, and confusion, Zachary was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with the brain-eating parasite.
For the past two weeks, 12-year-old Zachary was fighting for his life while doctors put him into a medically induced coma. After losing his battle with the brain-eating parasite Naegleria fowleri, “a ventilator was being used so that the boy's organs could be donated, adding that family and friends can visit him at Miami Children's Hospital during visiting hours Sunday.”
Like 12-year-old Zachary Reyna, 12-year-old Kali Hardig was put into a medically induced coma after contracting the brain-eating parasite and was being treated with experimental drugs.
“Several drugs are effective against Naegleria fowleri in the laboratory. However, their effectiveness is unclear since almost all infections have been fatal, even when people were treated.”
Kali continues to do well. She is believed to be one of only three people to survive the brain-eating parasite.