Father’s warning to parents after son’s death
Seven-year-old Kyle Lewis was all boy. He loved swimming, camping and especially baseball.
His dad, Jeremy Lewis, will never forget his son’s last game.
“I remember looking at him when he was on the baseball field and he was sweating a lot more than usual and I said, ‘Are you OK, bud?’ He said, ‘Dad, are you kidding me? Did you see the way I’m playing?’”
Just after that game, a few days after swimming during a Texas camping trip, Kyle got sick.
First it was a headache, then a fever. He was soon throwing up.
Just days later, Kyle died.
His killer was an amoeba called Naegleria Fowleri it causes the infection Primary Amoebic Meningoencephilitis or PAM.
It is 99-percent fatal.
The amoeba is found in most fresh waterways and even neti-pots.
It feeds on bacteria and enters through the nose.
Lewis said the only sure prevention is avoiding fresh water 80 degrees or above.
“When water temperature heats up, it rises to the top of water hatches and then starts feeding on the algae that sits on top of the water,” he said.
Kyle’s family is now dedicated to spreading the word as well as investigating encephalitis cases.
Lewis believes some of these could be amoeba-related.
“My opinion is it’s misdiagnosed far more than is actually correct,” he said.
With summer fun right around the corner, Lewis wants to protect other families from such a tragedy.
“I don’t want anyone to go through this. It’s horrible. You literally lose your child from 100 percent to gone in four days,” he said.
Other things that can help prevent an amoeba infection include swimming with your head above water, wearing a swim mask or wearing a nose clip.