Zachary Reyna, the 12-year-old Florida boy who was infected by a brain-eating parasite on Aug. 3, has sadly died Sunday. Zachary's parents posted the news to the Facebook page set up in support of their son's condition. Reyna was initially infected with PAM, or primary amebic meningoencephalitis, after knee-boarding with his friends in a water-filled ditch near his home in LaBelle, Fla., a small town located half-way between Lake Okeechobee and Fort Myers. The Facebook page set up for Zachary is called "Pray4number4", and has over 10,000 "likes", according to the Miami Herald on Aug. 24. The victim was apparently being kept alive by a ventilator before his death.
"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. I’m so proud of him. He left it all on the field and I can’t ask for more", Zachary's father wrote.
The family unfortunately rejoiced just Wednesday, after receiving news that the antibiotics had defeated the amoebic infection. But, although they rid Zachary of the infection, doctors still had to test for brain activity.
Another Facebook post said the the final examination for brain activity in the boy was scheduled for Saturday morning.
Florida Today reported Sunday morning that Zachary was being kept alive on a ventilator so that family and friends could see him before organ donations were set to begin.
State health officials admit it's a medical mystery why some people who swim in amoeba-containing water come down with the fatal condition, while most people do not.
The parasite typically enters the body through the nose and travels up to the brain. There, the amoeba causes an infection and destroys brain tissue, according to the Florida Department of Health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 31 documented cases of PAM between the years 2003 to 2012.
Only three people in North America have been reported to survive PAM since 1962.