Girl battles brain-eating amoeba

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 9:28am

A 12-year-old girl is in critical condition from brain-eating parasite.

A 12-year-old girl in Arkansas is in critical condition,

Battling a rare but deadly brain-eating parasite.

What's more alarming is how doctor's believe she got the infection.

After going swimming at a water park.

A 12 year old girl went for a swim and is now fighting for her life.

Kali Hardig went swimming in this lake at a water park in Little Rock, Arkansas and came down with parasitic meningitis, rare infection caused by a brain-eating amoeba.

This infection has struck only 31 other people in the past ten years.

And the centers for disease control says all were fatal.

"The child has a grave prognosis, I'm afraid," says Dr. William Schaffner Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

The amoeba, a parasite called naegleria, loves warm water, like lakes, rivers, and hot springs.

Dr. Schaffner says, "The amoeba then finds itself way back in our noses and then can work its way into our central nervous system, around our brains, and once it's there it just causes destruction."

Kali's mother took her daughter to the hospital when she noticed alarming symptoms exhaustion and high fever.

Doctors at Arkansas Children's Hospital have put Kali in a coma to stabilize her.

And the Willow Springs water park has closed down.

"It's hard for us to even think about the possibility of a child getting sick out here," says owner of Willow Springs, David Ratiff.

Kali Hardig's family is asking for prayers.

On their Facebook page they write "She still has a long fight ahead."

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