http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2011...er.html?r=newsDoctors believe Courtney Nash, from Mims, Fla., was struck down by amoebic meningoencephalitis, a deadly infection caused by an amoeba that lurks in warm river and pond waters.
Nash was rushed to the hospital late last week when she got a fever and became delirious shortly after taking a dip in the St. John's River last week.
She was pronounced dead at around 4:30 p.m., Brevard County Fire Rescue said.
Health officials have not determined a cause of death, but they suspect that Nash may have caught the parasite that causes the infection, amoebic encephalitis, during her swim.
"We got a result from the hospital in Orlando and they did a spinal tap on her, and they looked on the cerebral spinal fluid and they saw the amoeba," Barry Inman, an epidemiologist with the Brevard County Health Department, told CBS Tampa.
The dangerous and rare parasite is commonly found in stagnant freshwater during hot weather, as well as poorly tended pools or hot tubs.
The parasite enters the victim through the nose and then attacks the brain and spinal chord, doctors said.
There are typically fewer than five cases a year in the entire country, and only one person has survived the infection since the 1970s, Inman told the station.
http://www.wftv.com/news/28868929/de...=cmg_cntnt_rssCourtney Nash was 14 years old when she pushed her mother to let her become an organ donor. Seven recipients are alive because of it.
Nash's struggle saddened the community, but her gift is inspiring it. A group will walk over the Max Brewer Bridge on Monday in her memory.
PJ Nash-Ryder, Courtney's mom, could barely express what the last week has been like.
"It's hurtful. It's hurtful," Nash-Ryder said.
Her 16-year-old daughter was diagnosed on Wednesday with a rare amoeba infection after swimming in the St. Johns River. Nash died over the weekend.
When her mom stepped outside their home, she set aside her grief and smiled as she told the media that her daughter was still helping others.
"Courtney, you're my angel. You're one of a kind. I love you,” said PJ Nash-Ryder.
Two years ago, Nash asked her mom for permission to become an organ donor.
"I got a little scared. You know, it's like I really didn't want to. I'll be honest. She asked me to sign to give me permission. I did," said Nash-Ryder.
The 16-year-old got her driver's license, and one day before she got sick, Nash renewed her pledge to donate her organs.