|'Battle Is Over' for Boy With Brain-Eating Amoeba|
|By ALEXIS SHAW (@ashaw109)||Aug 25, 2013, 4:12 PM|
The family of a 12-year-old Florida boy who was infected with a deadly brain-eating parasite earlier this month said his "battle is over."
A message posted on the Facebook page set up to support Zachary Reyna, of LaBelle, Fla., said that friends and family who wished to see the 12-year-old could visit him today at Miami Children's Hospital, where he is on a ventilator, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
"At 1:54 today there was a crack of a bat heard," his father wrote on Facebook on Saturday. "Zac took it deep. My boy hit his homerun. One that I'll never forget. I'm so proud of him. He left it all on the field and I can't ask for more. He did so well that he'll be the starting 2nd baseman for The Lords team."
His parents decided to donate his organs, according to a message on the Facebook page Pray4Number4, in honor of the boy's baseball jersey number.
"Even though Zac has passed, he will still be saving many lives," the post said.
It was not clear how long the family planned to keep Zachary on the ventilator beyond the visiting hours provided for friends and family.
Zachary was diagnosed with primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, a rare form of meningitis caused by the amoeba naegleria fowleri, earlier this month, ABC Fort Meyers, Fla., affiliate WZVN-TV reported.
The amoeba infects people when they take in contaminated water through the nose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They do not get it by drinking contaminated water.
Zachary was infected while knee boarding with friends in a ditch near his family's home on Aug. 3, WZVN-TV reported.
The Glades County health department confirmed the case and announced the diagnosis Aug. 12 in a news release. The infection is usually fatal, according to the release.
"This is a very rare occurrence," county health department spokeswoman Brenda Barnes told ABCNews.com. "This amoeba is out there. It could be anywhere in any warm, fresh water."
The boy's family said today they believe his fate is in God's hands.
"We respect the doctors protocol but we continue with our faith and believe God will step in on his time irregardless of what has been said. We ask that you continue to pray and believe along with us," they wrote today on Facebook.
Rachel Perry, a spokeswoman from Miami Children's Hospital, told ABCNews.com she was not authorized to comment on Zachary's condition.
"Miami Children's Hospital expresses heartfelt condolences to this devoted family. We respect the family's wishes and honor their privacy at this time," the hospital's statement said.
ABC News' Sydney Lupkin contributed to this report.