Boy, 12, Loses Battle With Brain-Eating Amoeba

Zachary Reyna will be taken off life-support after days of no brain activity
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2013 1:42 PM CDT
Zachary Reyna   (Facebook)

(Newser) – Zachary Reyna, the 12-year-old Florida boy who was battling a brain-eating amoeba, has "passed," according to his family, and will be taken off life support later today. Reyna has shown negative brain activity for days, but is being kept on a ventilator so his organs can be donated, reports the Huffington Post. " Even though Zac has passed, he will still be saving many lives," his family wrote on his Facebook page. The boy had fought off the infection with antibiotics, but was left with brain damage.

In happier news, the 12-year-old girl battling a brain-eating amoeba in Arkansas, is doing better, reports the AP. Kali Hardig has now recovered some speech, according to her parents. "She's not speaking normal, but she is doing wonderful trying to pronounce stuff," says her mother. Hardig can reportedly say "yes," "no," "hi mama," "daddy" and "nanny." "It's still a concern that she could certainly have some deficits long-term and not function entirely as she would have if this had never happened," says one of her doctors, but, she adds, "She's up and participating in all her therapy. ... She's saying more, and things are basically looking good." (Read more amoeba stories.)

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