The mission of the Michael John Riley Jr. Foundation is to advocate and increase awareness of the potential dangers associated with Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM) caused by the deadly amoeba Naeglaria fowleri through research, advocacy, and education.
The Foundation will support and fund reaasearch being conducted to find and create treatments for Primary Ameobic Meningoencephalitis (PAM) caused by Naeglaria fowleri.
The Foundation will increase awarness of the deadly amoeba Naeglaria fowleri through public awareness and advocacy programs.
The Foundation will educate the public regarding the presence and dangers of the deadly amoeba, Naeglaria and the fatal condition of PAM, which is a direct symptom from exposure of the amoeba.
Michael Riley Jr., was an honors student who has qualified for the Junior Olympics three times in cross country.Doctors believe the amoeba entered through his nose and got into his brain when he jumped into a lake at the Sam Houston National Forest on Aug. 13. A week later, Riley developed a fever and headache, and his mother took him to a local clinic. They couldn't find any clear sign of what was wrong, and sent him home, his family said.
But a few days later, his symptoms got worse. He was disoriented, with a fever, severe headache and neck pain similar to symptoms of meningitis. His parents took him to Texas Children's Hospital, where doctors recognized the condition from having recently treated another case in the area. That child didn't survive.
Tests confirmed that Riley had contracted the amoeba Naegleria fowleri, which causes a rare disease, Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM), attacking cells in the brain.
He received an experimental drug that was flown in from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. The CDC says the treatment helped save a 12-year-old Arkansas girl, Kali Hardig, who contracted the amoeba in 2013. She was one of only a handful of patients known to have survived the infection, which is almost always fatal. Three people have died from it in the U.S. in 2015.
While Michale's condition was rare, the amoeba typically lives in warm freshwater and can be found in lakes in the Houston area. It cannot be contracted by drinking contaminated water, only by inhaling it up the nose. To reduce the risk, experts advise keeping your head above water or using nose plugs when you swim in lakes or rivers.