LABELLE, Fla.- The LaBelle community is banding together to show its support for a 12-year-old boy in critical condition, fighting a rare and deadly infection attacking his brain.
Friends say Zachary Reyna was infected with a brain-eating amoeba while playing in a ditch near his home. Only three people have ever survived this infection.
Those close to the family say Reyna's parents are still hoping for a positive change in their son. They are still by his side as he fights for his life at a Miami hospital. This morning, Southwest Floridians gathered at a park in the middle of LaBelle to pray, but they aren't the only ones rallying. Close family friends of Zachary Reyna knew the close-knit town of LaBelle would turn out in support of the 12-year-old, but his story is now spanning other states and even countries.
This number 4 has become a symbol for Zachary on social media and on t-shirts. Kimberly Marroquin designed the graphic to represent the hope for a positive outcome, that this young boy becomes the 4th known survivor of a rare brain-eating amoeba.
Hundreds supported Zachary at the prayer vigil in the center of town this morning, but organizers say churches in Jacksonville and Ontario were praying simultaneously. The family even participated from a Miami hospital through FaceTime.
Those who attended say the hardest part is watching Zachary's family and teammates struggle through the uncertainty.
A fund has been set up for the family at First Bank, under Zachary's name.
If you'd like to donate, you can address checks to:
First Bank locations are as follows:
300 E. Sugarland Highway
Clewiston, FL 33440
101 S. Berner Road
Clewiston, FL 33440
301 W. Highway 80
LaBelle, FL 33935
11741 Palm Beach Blvd., Ste. 100
Fort Myers, FL 33905
24704 US Highway 27
Moore Haven, FL 33471
The "Number 4" t-shirts are also on sale at a shop in LaBelle called Ragin' Graphics. So far, at least $3,000 has been raised.