Michael Riley Jr. looks like he could jump off the screen any second. The energetic honors student has qualified for Junior Olympics three times in cross country.
But the 14-year-old is now in critical condition at Texas Children’s Hospital battling a rare brain-eating amoeba and fighting for his life. His family is praying he can use every ounce of strength to pull through the fight of his life.
Riley is currently in a medically-induced coma and his family said Monday night he had more swelling around his brain.
Doctors believe the amoeba entered through his nose and swam into his brain when he jumped into a lake at the Sam Houston National Forest on Aug. 13. A week later, Riley was disoriented, had a fever, a severe headache and neck pain similar to symptoms of meningitis.
Doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital recognized the symptoms from another case in the area. That child didn’t survive.
Officials with the Center for Disease Control say the condition is fatal 95 percent of the time and so far three people have died from it this year.
The family is counting on an experimental treatment from the CDC and prayers flooding in on Facebook and on a GoFundMe page.
Donations: Help the family here
Hundreds are echoing get well wishes for Riley on social media.
“Sending you hugs and prayers, from one mom’s heart to another,” one poster said.
Miracle for Michael: Share your support and prayers
Doctors say Riley’s condition is rare, but the amoeba typically lives in warm freshwater, so it’s more common in lakes in the Houston area. In order to prevent from catching it, doctors advise keeping your head above water and use nose plugs when you swim.
Riley’s family is already trying to raise awareness while they keep praying for their miracle.
Found at KHOU