Brain-Eating Amoeba Girl Faces Fear Of Water

A 12-year-old girl has faced her fears and returned to the water after apparently contracting a rare infection caused by a brain-eating amoeba at a water park.

Kali Harding, from Arkansas, who was diagnosed with the illness in July, went swimming in a hospital pool for an hour alongside her mother and three therapists, a rehabilitation physician told ABCNews.com.

Kali’s mother said she has been afraid of entering the water after health officials suspect she became sick after swimming in a sandy bottomed lake at Willow Springs Water Park in Little Rock.

The amoeba called Naegleria fowleri that caused her infection is often found in warm freshwater.

Esther Tompkins, Kali’s doctor, told ABC: “Her mom noticed that she was somewhat fearful of water, which is obviously where she got the ameoba from.

“Her mom wanted her to work through her fear of water and the perfect place to do that was the pool at the hospital.

“She always enjoyed swimming before she got sick and her mom would like to have her enjoy that again.”

The girl prepared for her swim by going into the hospital’s pool room to feel the water and get acclimatised with the pool’s surroundings, Ms Tompkins said.

She added that Kali has made a significant recovery and may be released from the hospital as soon as next month.

Ms Tompkins said: “She’s a go-getter and a hard worker: She just improves daily.

“She’s still a little slow in her speech, and her memory is a little slow but that’s improving. She needs to wear braces to walk and she has a little problem with balance, which produces ataxia. It makes her gate kind of unsteady.”

Kali began to show signs of recovery in August, uttering her first words and taking her first steps since the harrowing diagnosis.

Only two people in North America are known to have survived the rare infection, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Now you have another reason to thank God.

Culled from SkyNews

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