10-year-old Texas girl dies after contracting brain-eating amoeba, family says

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A 10-year-old Texas girl has died after she contracted a brain-eating amoeba, her family said.

Lily Mae Avant “has gone to be with Jesus,” her aunt, Loni Yadon, said in a statement Monday morning.

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“She fought the good fight and built an ARMY of prayer warriors around the world doing it,” Yadon wrote in a Facebook post.

Lily Avant went swimming in a river over Labor Day weekend and contracted a brain-eating amoeba.Family Photo

Lily went swimming over Labor Day weekend in the Brazos River near Waco — where her family said she contracted Naegleria fowleri amoeba, a single-celled organism also known as “brain-eating” amoeba.

It is commonly found in fresh water bodies such as ponds, lakes and rivers and in soil, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About a week later, on Sept. 8, Lily started suffering from a fever, according to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.

On Monday, Lily’s aunt said the young girl “changed lives and brought unity to a divided nation.”

“At this time, our baby is completely healed and in the arms of Jesus,” Yadon told NBC News in a statement. “We want everyone to know we appreciate their prayers and love and support.”

Because of the rarity of the infection and difficulty in initial detection, about 75 percent of the diagnoses are made after the death of the patient, the CDC says.