Florida boy fighting rare brain-eating amoeba flown to Chicago for treatment

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A 13-year-old Florida boy who has been fighting a brain-eating amoeba for greater than two months was flown by a Tampa-based air ambulance company to Chicago for continued treatment on Wednesday.

Jet ICU supplied the flight and transport for Caleb Ziegelbauer. He and his household left from Tampa International Airport on Wednesday afternoon. He shall be fighting the amoeba on the Shirly Ryan capability lab.

“Caleb is brave. Caleb is strong. Caleb is a fighter. Caleb is young. Caleb is healthy. Caleb has a brain capable of healing,” his mother Jesse Ziegelbauer mentioned earlier than their departure. “He is made of pure grit and determination and it is exactly that which we are banking on to wake him up.”

NBC affiliate WBBH reported on the finish of July that Caleb got sick after his family took a trip to Port Charlotte Beach on July 1. It took per week earlier than the boy began displaying signs, together with complications and hallucinations. He later ended up within the emergency room.

Doctors informed Caleb’s dad and mom they believed the amoeba Naegleria fowleri had entered the 13-year-old’s physique via his nostril and reached his brain.

According to the CDC the amoeba is often present in heat freshwater, in addition to soil. Experts mentioned the amoeba enters via an individual’s nostril when tainted water enters the nasal cavities. It sometimes occurs whereas an individual is swimming.

It will not be unfold via person-to-person contact however is extremely deadly to those that contract it, who develop a situation referred to as “primary amebic meningoencephalitis.” The CDC mentioned the fatality rate is over 97%, and solely 10 circumstances have been reported from 2012 to 2021.

“We won’t dwell on the last two months. We move forward, we continue to heal,” Jesse Ziegelbauer mentioned. “And we couldn’t do without the help of our community, our family – all of you.”

Jet ICU flies seven plane, working the most important long-range air ambulance fleet in North America. The accredited Tampa-based company flies globally.

“He’s already fought one of the hardest, rarest diseases there are,” Jared Wayt from Jet ICU mentioned. “Jet ICU’s not gonna let a couple-hour flight up to Chicago stop his recovery.”

A GoFundMe has raised over $65,000.

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