Young girl killed by 'brain-eating' amoeba; 'one in a billion' death -

Young girl killed by 'brain-eating' amoeba; 'one in a billion' death


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Young girl killed by 'brain-eating' amoeba; 'one in a billion' death

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED Jul 14, 2014

Hally Yust, 9, died on July 9 after a waterborne, brain-eating amoeba killed her. 

Yust's father Shon said at a Spring Hill, Kansas, news conference Friday, “You are more likely to die from drowning than you are from ever dying from this organism. It’s like a one in a billion; this girl’s one in a billion," reports Fox 4. He added, “Our family is very active in the water, and we will continue to be."

The child's mother, Jenny, added, “It must have been a little boring in heaven the last few weeks so God looked around the earth and he found the most interesting, dynamic, fantastic person he could and he said 'Hally you’ve gotta come be with me,'” details Fox 4. 

The young girl had reportedly been in at least four bodies of fresh water in the last one to two weeks leading up to her death.

According to Fox 4, "the naegleria fowleri amoeba lives in all bodies of fresh water."

"Deadly infections from brain-eating amoebas are fairly rare in the United States," further reports Fox 4. "Between 1962 and 2013, there have been 132 cases. The first and only other case in Kansas was reported in 2011."

Symptoms reportedly appear five days after the person is infected. "Symptoms of the infection that penetrates the brain include headache, fever, vomiting," Fox 4 explains. "People are then overcome by confusion, seizures and hallucinations."

Yust's family has opened a scholarship fund for female basketball players in her name. Donation information can be found here.

Julianne Cassidy

Julianne Cassidy

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A city girl gone country, Philadelphia-bred journalist Julianne Cassidy relocated to be a Nashville-based digital editor for Scripps Media, Inc.