LAKE JACKSON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The family of a 6-year-old boy in Texas continues to be in mourning after the child died from a rare brain-eating amoeba about three weeks ago.
Maria Castillo talked to KTRK about what her son, Josiah Christopher McIntyre, went through after contracting the rare infection. A benefit held on Saturday raised money for hospital and funeral expenses for the family.
She said she first noticed symptoms on a Thursday earlier this month after her son complained of having a headache.
“Friday it was vomiting and throwing up and still the headache, but I mean kids get sick. It’s normal. Kids vomit. Kids run a fever,” Castillo said.
Josiah’s family thought he might have had COVID-19, but he tested negative the following Saturday after first showing symptoms. The next day, Castillo said he was taken to Texas Children’s Hospital.
“That first CT that they did on him did show the brain swelling,” she said.
Doctors later found the cause of the swelling to be from the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri.
Josiah died on Sept. 8.
Castillo said her son wasn’t ever in a body of water like a lake or pond. She said he played at a splash pad.
The mother’s story of her son came on the same weekend that officials warned her community of Lake Jackson to not use tap water for any reason except for flushing toilets. Officials believed the water may be contaminated with the brain-eating amoeba.
KTRK reports the 6-year-old’s death prompted the testing of water samples in the city and the splash pad.
The Brazosport Water Authority had originally warned eight communities about not using the tap water, but that warning was lifted for all but Lake Jackson.
Castillo didn’t comment on the current water situation in her area but warned parents to be cautious of those flu-like symptoms. She also hopes to learn exactly how her son caught the deadly infection.
“We want to know as a family, you know, for a peace of mind. It won’t bring him back. It probably won’t make us feel better. But the fact that we know how he got it, how he contracted it, just gives us that peace of mind that we can that we know,” Castillo said.