Family discusses boy’s fight against brain-eating amoeba

Family discusses boy's fight against brain-eating amoeba

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LABELLE, Florida (WBBH) – After saying goodbye one last time, Zachary Reyna’s uncle spoke about the 12-year-old’s battle against a brain-eating amoeba.

Zachary Reyna was taken off a ventilator Monday night, and his vital organs were successfully donated. He was pronounced brain-dead on Saturday after doctors failed to find any brain activity.

Zachary contracted the amoeba August 3rd while knee boarding in a water-filled ditch outside his LaBelle home.

Zachary beat the brain-eating amoeba but his family said it did too much damage to his brain.

“He’s a fighter. We’ve said it from the beginning. He was fighting, he was fighting until the last minute. He was there with us fighting. Zac is a great kid. He’s my nephew. I love him very much,” Danny Reyna said.

Danny was in the hospital with his nephew throughout the entire fight.

“It was tough. There were days that you have feelings of anger. You’re mad, you don’t understand why things are happening,” he explained.

He spoke for the entire Reyna family saying it wasn’t easy but faith carried them through it and kept them positive.

“If I could choose, I wouldn’t want it to be Zac, but it is, and we’re kinda moving forward with that and accepting it. It’s an eye opener. It’s sad that it takes something like this for people to change the way they’re living,” Danny said.

Zac’s family says the organ donation is a way for him to continue saving lives.

“How great had it has been for those families to get the call of, ‘their son or daughter has a heart now or has a lung that can take a breathe for their kid now.’ Zac is going to continue living on through those people. We are so proud of Zac. He’s a strong kid and he was the one to do that,” Danny said.

Although he and the rest of the Reyna family feel a sense of emptiness, Danny says they know Zac will be watching down and taking care of them all.

“There’s a saying in baseball, ‘take it for the team,’ when you’re up to bat and you get an inside pitch kids yell, ‘take it for the team’ meaning get hit by the ball, get a free base. Zac definitely took this one for the team and opened our eyes, opened the world’s eyes on his story and what’s really important in life,” Danny said.

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