LABELLE, Fla - A 12 year old LaBelle boy is fighting for his life after doctors confirm a rare brain eating amoeba inside of him.
Zachary Reyna is currently in ICU at Miami Children's hospital. His best friend, Zachary Price tells WINK News his friend loved to play baseball and it's a passion they shared.
"We met playing baseball and played baseball all our lives," says Price. "He's a good guy, he didn't do anything bad. He made good grades in school, he didn't do anything bad. He's a great person."
Last week, Reyna and his buddies were swimming in a ditch that had filled up with water. "We'd go there a lot," says Price. "if that spot gets full it gets really dirty. It's just dirt, and dirt and dirt."
A few days later, Reyna was hospitalized and diagnosed with a brain eating amoeba. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it's a very rare infection with only 28 cases reported in the United States between 2003-2012.
"I just wish I could do something. Praying is all I can do," says Price. "I can't do anything else. I just wish I could take it away, but I can't."
The rare infection is found in warm, fresh water such as lakes, rivers, ponds and canals and happens when contaminated water enters the body through the nose. Since Reyna was taken to Miami, his other half has been back home praying for a quick recovery.
"The prayers are going to help him," says Price. "He's going to be okay."