Ten year old girl battles rare brain-eating amoeba

National

(CNN) — A Texas girl is hospitalized and in the fight for her life.

She contracted a deadly, brain eating amoeba that usually kills people within three to five days.

“It’s every parents worst nightmare,” said Crystal Warren, Lily Mae Avant’s aunt.

As ten year old Lily lays unresponsive in a hospital bed in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit of Cooks Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.

Her family, friends and school are rallying behind her.

“She is just an outstanding young girl and we are all devastated but we’re also we’re also very hopeful,” said Chris Dowdy, Valley Mills Elementary Principal.

In Valley Mills last night, more prayers from classmates and their families.

“We just need everybody to pray and continuously think good positive thoughts she will be number five to survive,” Warren said.

Prayers are what’s needed says her aunt, and for Lily’s body to keep fighting.

“The doctors told us there is nothing more that they can do for her and they have exhausted all resources due to the fact that this is such a fatal disease and it claims it’s victims so quickly,” Warren said. “They haven’t had time to really study and learn from it.”

The show of support for Lily is online, in Whitney and in Valley Mills.

Dowdy says many people are thinking about her.

“Well you have a huge support system from this campus from this city in this community all over the state,” Dowdy said.

Doctors and members of the Center for Disease Control say they haven’t figured out where she contracted the amoeba, whether it was when she swam in the Brazos River near her house in Laguna Park, or at Lake Whitney on Labor Day.

“For this to happen to her when there were so many other people in the same waters on the same days we just don’t understand why it was her,” Warren said.

Many people who get this dangerous parasite die within three-to-five days after starting to feel the effects.

Lily is about to finish her sixth day and that could be good news.

“We have high hopes. She is a fighter and she’s always been a fighter,” Warren said.

The scientific name of the amoeba, Naegleria Fowleri.

It’s typically found in bodies of fresh water, like rivers, ponds and lakes.

A spokesman for the Texas Department of Health says the amoeba is present in fresh water all over the country.

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