UPDATE: Sept. 16, 2019 11:58 a.m.
10-year-old Lily Mae Avant died after contracting a brain-eating amoeba.
An account has been set up at First National Bank in Valley Mills, First National Bank in Whitney, and we have the option of Venmo: @LilyLaciJohn, for all donations to John and Laci.
Thank you, all, for being respectful of the family during this time as we grieve our loss. Please continue to stay united as a country and pray for Laci, John, and our family.
Our faith in God has only been made stronger because of each of you. We may never understand why certain things happen here on earth, but we know God never left our sides. He has been right beside us and will continue to be our strength and see us through this.
We are, and always will be #Lilystrong!
VALLEY MILLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A Texas girl is hospitalized and in the fight of her life after contracting a deadly, brain-eating amoeba. It’s known for killing people within three to five days.
Lily Mae Avant’s aunt, Crystal Warren, says, “it’s every parent’s worst nightmare.” as 10-year-old Lily lays unresponsive in a hospital bed in the neurointensive care unit of Cooks Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.
Her family, friends, and school are rallying behind her.
Valley Mills Elementary principal, Chris Dowdy, says “she is just an outstanding young girl and we are all devastated but we’re also we’re also very hopeful.”
Warren says, “we just need everybody to pray and continuously think good positive thoughts she will be number five to survive.”
In Valley Mills last night more prayers from classmates and their families. And prayers are what’s needed says her aunt Crystal and for Lily’s body to keep fighting.
Warren says, “the doctors told us there is nothing more that they can do for her and they have exhausted all resources due to the fact that this is such a fatal disease and it claims it’s victims so quickly. They haven’t had time to really study and learn from it.”
The show of support for Lily is online, in Whitney and in Valley Mills as well. Her elementary school principal, Chris Dowdy says many people are thinking about her.
Principal Dowdy says, “well you have a huge support system from this campus from this city in this community all over the state.”
Warren says, “she cares about everybody and she loves babies. Those are her favorite things and all of her babies are just praying for her to come back to them.”
Doctors and members of the center for disease control say they haven’t figured out where she contracted the amoeba, whether it was when she swam in the Brazos River near her house in Laguna Park, or at Lake Whitney on Labor Day.
Warren says, “for this to happen to her when there were so many other people in the same waters on the same days we just don’t understand why it was her.”
Many people who get this dangerous parasite die within three-to-five days after starting to feel the effects.
Lily is about to finish her sixth day and that could be good news.
Warren says, “we have high hopes. She is a fighter and she’s always been a fighter.”
Principal Dowdy, says, “we’re behind you. We’re here for you and we can’t wait to get lily back on this campus.”
The specific amoeba is typically found in bodies of freshwater, like rivers, ponds, and lakes.
A spokesman for the Texas department of health says the amoeba is present in freshwater all over the country.