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Lily Mae Avant, 10, Contracts Brain-Eating Amoeba After Swim In Brazos River

BOSQUE COUNTY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - Days after swimming in the Brazos River and contracting a brain-eating amoeba, a Central Texas girl is battling for her life.

It started when Lily Mae Avant, 10, came down with a headache and fever, according to a Facebook post from her cousin. But her condition quickly deteriorated.

I need my prayers warriors now! My little cousin is in ICU and is unresponsive. She was running a fever yesterday, and...

Posted by Wendy Scott on Tuesday, September 10, 2019

After first receiving treatment nearby, Avant was transferred to Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth where she remained Thursday evening. The hospital determined she was suffering from a devastating infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). The disease of the central nervous system is caused by Naegleria fowleri, a free-living ameba typically found in fresh water bodies such as ponds, lakes and rivers.

People gathered with their head bowed in prayer for the 10-year-old girl.

And although doctors have told Avant's family they've done all they can do, her aunt Wendy Scott said the family is staying strong.

"We're staying strong. We know that's what she needs. And that's what mom and dad need right now," Scott said.

Avant's family continues to ask for prayers as they stay steadfast by her side, but they remain determined she will be the fifth person in the U.S. since 1962 to survive a brain-infecting amoeba.

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