LaBELLE, Fla. (Ft. Meyers News-Press/KTHV) - The father of a 12-year-old Florida boy battling a brain-eating amoeba said Wednesday the treatment has defeated the infection.
"We were told this morning that the antibiotics have defeated the infection. Tests showed negative activity from the amoeba," Zachary Reyna's father wrote on a Facebook page titled "Pray4Number4" dedicated to the Little League baseball player.
Zachary has been hospitalized since Aug. 4 after contracting the infection, known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, or PAM, while knee-boarding in a water-filled ditch near his family's home.
On Tuesday, it was reported that Zachary's doctors had been told about an experimental breast cancer drug and the dramatic drop in body temperature that helped make Kali Hardig of Benton the third survivor of this rare form of meningitis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta confirmed Tuesday communication between the doctors treating the two youths.
The infection destroys brain tissue and is almost always lethal - the fatality rate is more than 99%. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 1 of 128 individuals with the infection in the U.S. in the past 50 years has survived, and one in Mexico survived.
"This is a small victory, but we know the battle is not over," the statement from Zachary's father said. "Extensive damage was done to his brain, and we need to pray for any form of activity to come from his brain."
Hardig is recovering after being hospitalized with the infection in July. She is going through physical therapy, tossing a ball to a physical therapist, moving her legs and saying hi to her mom.
To read all of the stories and updates about Kali, visit THV's page dedicated to her story: http://on.kthv.com/13EHxfr