Girl Facing Death From Brain-Eating Amoeba Infection

| by Jordan Smith
Hannah CollinsHannah Collins

A South Carolina girl is reportedly battling for her life after being infected with a brain-eating amoeba.

Hannah Collins, 11, was infected by the amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, when swimming on the Edisto River, the Island Packet reported.

Hannah is described as a popular student who participated in beauty pageants.

A representative for Medical University of South Carolina said there was no news on Hannah’s status Aug. 5.

Two days earlier, doctors gave her miltefosine, a medication that helped a 12-year-old recover from the condition in 2013. It had no impact on Hannah’s condition.

“There is irreparable brain damage and MUSC has done everything in their power. We are now waiting for her to join the Angels in heaven. As you wait with us, please continue to pray,” Hannah’s family wrote on Facebook, reports Daily Mail.

The hospital said there was no record of Hannah on Aug. 3, but an employee explained this could be because the family had requested privacy.

“We have all the meds from the CDC but we need a miracle,” Hannah's aunt, Caroline Crocker, wrote. “Hannah Katherine needs you and your friends and family to pray to beat this! Thank you.” 

The amoeba is common in warm-water lakes and rivers. Infection is rare, with only 37 people recorded as contracting the infection between 2006 and 2015. Only three of those people lived.

Hannah’s prospects are bleak.

“There seems to be some confusion on Facebook as I scroll through comments,” a Facebook post by Hannah’s mother stated. “My angel has not yet departed but Jesus is calling her as we wait in this time of great despair.”

Hannah’s family set up a GoFundMe page, which has already surpassed its fundraising goal of $22,000, to pay for medical bills and accommodation costs.

Health officials say the best way to guard against the amoeba is to wear a nose clip or plug your nose when jumping into a lake or river. The amoeba enters the body through the nose when infected water is inhaled.

Symptoms usually take about two weeks to show, at which time a victim has two weeks to live.

Sources: Daily Mail, Island Packet / Photo credit: Island Packet

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