Tanner Lake Wall was a healthy, active boy from Florida, but he died of a brain-eating amoeba last August. He was 13 years old.
As part of camp activities, the boy swam with 50 other children, his sisters and his dad, in a lake in North Florida. Two days later he began to suffer severe headaches, nausea, and vomiting. He was the only one who contracted Naegleria fowleri, a parasite that usually infects the brain through fresh water from rivers and lakes that enters through the nose.
When his parents took the boy to the Putnam Community Medical Center, he was diagnosed with strep throat, but since his symptoms did not improve, he was taken to UF Health in Gainesville, where doctors found the real reason for his condition: Naegleria fowleri, commonly known like brain-eating amoeba.
Tanner’s brain activity stopped on August 2, so he was disconnected from the support that was keeping him alive. Shortly after he died. According to The Science Times, the boy’s family called on health professionals to be more aware of this rare disease.
Naegleria fowleri inflames and destroys brain tissue, resulting in death in 97 percent of cases. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are only 145 cases of this infection in this country and they have generally been recorded in times of prolonged high temperatures.