Amazing, miraculous news out of Little Rock, Arkansas! The poor 12-year-old girl who contracted a rare brain amoeba from swimming in a water park is showing signs of improvement. If she survives the amoeba, which eats away at brain tissue, she will be the third known person in the world to do so. From the beginning, Kali Hardig's mom has been adamant that her little girl will be the third person, even making up T-shirts saying "#3" -- and she hopefully will be right. Kali is awake now and has even squeezed her mom's hand.
Mom Traci Hardig wrote on her "Prayers for Kali" Facebook page:
It has been a very emotional couple days. Kali has reached for my hand, she has squeezed my hand, and she has moved her head. To a mom that has been through what I have the past two weeks. This has been the answer to my prayers. I feel so blessed to have my baby Kali still her and all the support we are getting from all our family and friends, also from total strangers! Please keep praying for my baby and I will keep the updates coming. Thanks again everyone for the out pour of love an support for Kali and our whole family!
On Sunday, Kali was still on a ventilator, but her mom posted that she was recognizing people and her fever was being controlled.
Kali contracted a rare form of brain meningitis after swimming in a water park. It's contracted when an amoeba enters the blood system through the nose. The amoeba can be found in all forms of fresh water, including lakes, rivers, poorly chlorinated pools, and even tap water. The best way to prevent it is to wear nose guards or swim with your head above water. A couple of things that, let's face it, would be hard for kids to do. Kali just had unbelievably bad luck.
Traci has been a pillar of strength throughout this ordeal. She began fundraising for Kali and kept people updated on her condition through the media and Facebook from day one. The number 3, as the third survivor that everyone is sure Kali will be, has become her symbol. Servicemen in Kuwait even posed for a photo with the number and "Kali's Krew" on a huge sign.
There is absolutely no doubt that Kali has a long road ahead. But considering most people die of this condition within 12 days, Kali is doing astonishingly well. I for one have no doubt that Kali will be #3. She has already shown incredible strength. And undoubtedly much of that durability came from her friends and family -- especially her mother.
Let's all keep pulling for this inspiring and tough young lady.
Did this story make you change the way you think about swimming?
Image via Prayers for Kali Le Ann/Facebook