HOUSTON, TX - Great, here's another reason to be afraid of the water. A Houston teen is fighting for his life, after encountering a brain-eating amoeba in a nearby lake. Michael Riley Jr., 14, is in critical condition at Texas Children's Hospital, after doctors believed the rare and deadly microbe went up the teen's nose while he swam in a lake at the Sam Houston National Forest. A gifted student and athlete, Michael is in the National Honor Society and has qualified for the Junior Olympics three times for cross-country. Friends and family are rallying around this young fighter.
The Facebook page "Miracle 4 Michael" is flooded with well wishes, as well as the family's GoFundMe site, which so far has raised over $6000 in just under a day. Most of all, the family is hoping for prayers for their son, knowing how hard this amoeba is to beat. The CDC says the condition has a fatality rate of 95%, with with people already dying from it already this year. One of them, also from the Houston area.
Experts say this brain-eating amoeba lives in warm freshwater, typically in the south and southwest. Doctors recommend keeping your head above water and using a nose plug when swimming. Michael is receiving experimental treatment from the CDC. The Riley family is trying to raise awareness and everybody is hoping for a miracle.