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www.wmfd.com - An experimental drug could be the key to saving a 12-year-old girl. }}" />

   
 
 
Experimental Drug Helps Girl Recover From Amoeba

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 8/2/2013 An experimental drug could be the key to saving a 12-year-old girl. Kali Harding is battling for her life after coming into contact with a brain-eating parasite during a trip to an Arkansas water park. Elizabeth Cohen has more on how Kali is doing. When Kali Hardig arrived At Arkansas Children's Hospital, she was so exhausted, she couldn't even answer the doctor's questions. "He asked my several times did I think Kali was being like what you call a hypochondriac," says Tarci Hardig, Kali's mother. But Kali's mom assured him her daughter was no drama queen. The doctor listened and ran tests that showed Kali had a rare and almost always deadly infection. Swimming around in her spinal fluid, a brain-eating amoeba. Kalis parents were told she might have only days to live. "I hung on by my husband, and asking him 'what are we going to do?'. And he would tell me that 'we're gonna pray for Kali and we're gonna help her fight. We're gonna tell her to fight,' and that she would be okay," says Traci Hardig. To preserve brain tissue, Kali's doctors induced coma and cooled her body to 93 degrees. Doctors also turned to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for an experimental anti-amoeba drug, unsure if it would work. But apparently it has. Now there's no trace of the amoebas in Kali's spinal fluid. "Day by day, she's showing slow improvement and we're all very optimistic," says Traci Hardig. But Kali remains in intensive care in critical condition. "Killing the amoebas is one thing, but managing brain swelling and the aftermath of the infection and the irritation to the brain is really the critical part in having a patient survive," says Dr. Sanjim Pasala, Arkansas Children's Hospital pediatrician. If Kali does pull through, she'll beat the odds: only one person in the U.S. has survived this disease in the past 50 years.
   
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