August 7th, 2013
04:16 PM ET

Girl With Brain-Eating Amoeba Showing Improvement

By nearly all accounts Kali Hardig should not be alive. During a swim at a water park, the 12-year-old contracted rare but deadly brain-eating amoebas. Her chance of survival is less than 1-percent.

Of 128 known cases in the past half-century, just two patients have lived. But now, Kali might just be the third.

"Each day now it just gets closer and closer, that feeling that she's going to be number three," saud Traci Hardig, Kali's mother.

Just yesterday, they removed the breathing tube she's had for more than two weeks.

"She has a very good chance of surviving this and I think she is definitely on the road to recovery," says Dr. Mark Heulitt.

But what about those amoebas that feed on brain tissue? If they caused any permanent damage to Kali's brain, it's still too soon to know, but doctors are encouraged.

"I feel like my prayers have been answered. That it's just a miracle," says Traci Hardig.

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  1. dixie

    I am SO happy for Kali and her family. I hope that maybe the doctors can isolate what made Kali a survivor, and they might be able to help others. Get well soon, little fighter, we are pulling for you! And close down Willow Springs for good, please!

    August 8, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Reply

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