(Photo: Screen Grab via ABC 7)
A brain-eating parasite has killed a 12 year old from Florida after a brave battle from the young boy.
Zachary Reyna's family announced their son's death in a Facebook post; they had been updating people on his condition through the social media networking site over the past week.
However, on Saturday afternoon the family had to break the heartbreaking news that Zachary had finally succumbed to his condition, saying, "The battle is over for Zac but he won the war."
An hour after that post another statement was posted whereby the family confirmed that a ventilator was being used by medics so that his organs could be donated to others in need.
The Facebook post stated, "Even though Zac has passed, he will still be saving many lives."
Zachery had contracted a rare amoeba called Naegleria fowleri. It was hoped that he would be able to fight off the deadly brain-eating parasite using an experimental drug that had helped another victim of the amoeba survive just weeks ago.
The young boy's family have told WBBH that they believe their son contracted the infection while knee-boarding with friends in a ditch full of water, close to his house.
He fell ill soon after that, and was admitted to hospital where he underwent emergency brain surgery. Doctors announced that they had detected the rare amoeba called Naegleria fowleri, and diagnosed him with a condition called amoebic meningeoencephalitis – a condition only three other people have survived after contracting it.
Unfortunately after a battle with the condition, Zachery passed away at the weekend.
The Florida Department of Health has now warned swimmers not to bathe in high water temperatures with low water levels, as the conditions allow the ameoba to live and thrive in.
Experts have described that the amoeba enters the body through the nose, and goes from there to infect the brain.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that symptoms of the parasite appear within a week of being infected. Symptoms include "confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of balance, seizures and hallucinations. After the start of symptoms, the disease progresses rapidly and usually causes death within one to 12 days."
Here is a video news report into young Zachery's death this weekend: