Tener Lake Wall, a 13-year-old Florida boy, dies of brain-eating amoeba


13-year-old Tanner Lake Wall died on August 2 from a brain-eating amoeba while vacationing with her family. Now, Tanner’s mother is speaking out in the hope of warning other parents about this rare but fatal amoeba that killed her son.

Alicia Whitehill, 39, of Palatka, Florida, told TODAY that she and her family, which includes Tenner’s half-sister and her twin sisters, were vacationing at the campground on July 23-26, and Tener was on a Friday and Saturday Went swimming in the lake.

Tanner’s mother said that “she loved everyone and she loved everyone.”Alicia Whitehill

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The parasite likely ran to the boy’s nose during the swim.

By Tuesday, the boy was complaining of a headache which became more painful as the weeks passed. After two days, Tenor began to develop other symptoms including nausea and fever.

“On Thursday, we took Tanner to Putnam Community Medical Center in Palatka, Florida,” Whitehill said. “The ER doctor diagnosed strep throat and advised that Tenor be discharged.”

Whitehill said she disagreed with Tenor’s decision to be discharged because her condition appeared to be deteriorating and requested that she be transferred to another hospital.

“It angered the ER doctor,” she said. “They asked us to give the medicines time to work. They refused to call for medical transport, so we demanded Tenor’s release so that we could take them to another hospital.”

When Tanner arrived at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, about 50 miles west of Palatska, he was admitted for observation and testing. As of Friday morning, doctors advised the family that he suspected he had meningitis and ordered a spinal tap to confirm his suspicions.

“Tenor tested positive for bacterial meningitis and was transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit,” Whitehill said. “Tanner’s condition seemed mostly stable until Friday evening when her buttocks were shrinking and sent her for a CAT scan and placed her on a ventilator. The scan on Saturday showed excessive swelling and fluid buildup on the brain. We recommend Granted that they need to put a drain tube in their head to manufacture fluid for fear of brain damage. “

Initially the drain tube appeared to be working but in the early hours of Sunday, Tanner’s condition changed drastically. This was when doctors noticed that his brain had shifted and his brain fluids showed signs of parasites. The family was told that he had amoebae to eat and a very slim chance of survival.

Whitehill said, “At 12 o’clock on Sunday, the doctors met with us and said that Tanner was indeed Brain Dead, and it was decided to remove the ventilator.”

Tanner’s mom said that her July trip was the first time she had visited the Ragans Family Campground in Madison, Florida, and had read an online review of the place. She was aware of the existence of the brain-eating amoebae she told TODAY, but was unaware of how she was contracted.

“The water looked very clear and looked like it was filtered and colored,” she said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Naegleria is an amoeba (single-celled living organism) commonly found in warm fresh water (for example, lakes, rivers and hot springs) and soil. Only one of Naegleria Species (type). Infects people: Naegleria fowleri. “People can become infected when they are swimming and the parasitic water goes to their nose and goes to the brain, where it destroys the brain tissue. gives.

The lake at the campground has since been closed and Whitehill is asking people to sign a Change Dot ORG petition in honor of Tenor, warning signs to be placed in public swimming areas.

Whitehill and his family are mourning the loss of their boy, who said he loved hunting, fishing, sports, swimming and wildlife.

Tanner loved being outside.Alicia Whitehill

“Doctors told us that if they had not been misbehaved and treated with the wrong drugs, they might have had a better chance of rapid detection of the right drugs with a little hope of pre-detection and survival of the virus Is, “he said.

Whitehill said that his family is seeking legal representation due to misbehavior. For now, she is trying to comfort her other children and miss her son.

“He was a very mature and responsible youth for his age,” Whitehill said of Tener. “He was loved by everyone and he was loved by everyone.

Whitehill hopes parents will become more aware of the rare but deadly amoebae after learning Tanner’s story.

“Don’t think so because the water looks clear that it’s safe,” she said.

Tanner is survived by his mother, his stepfather George Whitehill, 50, his father, Travis Wall, 40, his brother Tucker Wall, 18, and his twin sisters Abigail and Cheyenne Wall, both 9.