FORT WORTH, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A 10-year-old Central Texas girl who contracted a brain-eating amoeba after swimming in the Brazos River has died, her family confirmed.
Lily Mae Avant died at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth after she was transferred there last week for treatment.
According to her family, it all started just days after she went swimming in the Brazos River. First she developed a headache and fever but then her condition quickly worsened.
Doctors at Cook Children’s determined she was suffering from primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), which is an infection to the brain caused by the amoeba Naegleria fowleri.
The dubbed “brain-eating amoeba” is typically found in freshwater bodies such as ponds, lakes and rivers.
A Facebook group called #Lilystrong was created by her family where people gathered to offer their thoughts and prayers as the 10-year-old battled for her life.
“Our beautiful girl is completely healed and in the arms of Jesus. Lily changed lives. Lily saved lives… she loved everyone she came in contact with and we see you all felt that,” Lily’s cousin Wendy Scott wrote on Facebook. “We started [#Lilystrong] because we wanted to bring awareness to Amoeba in an effort to prevent any other family from having to go through this.”
In September 2018, 29-year-old Fabrizio Stabile of New Jersey died due to contracting Naegleria fowleri after visiting the BSR Cable Park’s Surf Resort in Waco.