Hundreds Attend Vigil To Pray For Florida Boy Fighting Brain-Eat - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Hundreds Attend Vigil To Pray For Florida Boy Fighting Brain-Eating Amoeba

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LaBelle, FL -

Baseball teammates of 12-year-old Zachary Reyna want you to know, you don't have to know their friend, he just needs your prayers.

"You would never think this would happen to him, it's pretty scary," says Zachary's teammate, Bryce Hall. "Everybody needs to keep on praying and stay positive."

Voices joined in, spreading hope for a boy battling an unfathomable brain-eating infection (primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, or PAM) that he got just doing what any young boy would do...playing in the water.

"Father, would you lay your mighty hand of power upon little Zach in that hospital room today? We pray that Zach comes through this well, others have and we pray he's number four," a prayer that was offered at the vigil.

The fourth...to survive, they pray, and return home from Miami Children's Hospital to people who've open their hearts to him.

"It's just LaBelle, this is LaBelle, we come together whenever it's times like this," says teammate Trace Burchard. "He needs every prayer we've got and everything we can do for him."

And...do for him they did. In just ten minutes time, people donated more than $3,000 to help the Reyna family as they remain by Zachary's side.

The amoeba infects people when they take in contaminated water through the nose, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They do not get it by drinking contaminated water.

To reduce the risk of contracting the deadly amoeba, health officials said there are a few things swimmers can do:

  • Try to keep water from going up their noses
  • Avoid warm freshwater when the water temperature is high and the water level is low
  • Avoid stirring up sediment in shallow water
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