Mother Speaks About Son Dying of Brain Eating Amoeba


LAKE JACKSON, TX (CBS) Maria Castillo is in mourning. Less than three weeks ago her six-year-old son Josiah Christopher McIntyre died from amoeba in his brain.

She attended a benefit Saturday in which friends are raising money for hospital and funeral expenses. Maria first noticed the symptoms on a Thursday when Josiah complained of a headache. It got worse.

“Friday it was vomiting and throwing up and still the headache, but I mean kids get sick. It’s normal. Kids vomit. Kids run a fever,” Castillo said.

Saturday they went to the emergency room where he tested negative for COVID-19. They thought he had a virus. On Sunday, she took him to Texas Children’s Hospital. He was disoriented.

Castillo said, “That first CT that they did on him did show the brain swelling.”

Doctors thought it might be meningitis or encephalitis. They could not relieve the swelling. And then they discovered the cause. An amoeba.

Her son wasn’t in a lake or pond or creek. He played at a splashpad. That was it.

She won’t comment on the current water ban in her home community. But she tells parents to be cautious looks for flu-like symptoms which she knows is difficult. She hopes one day to know exactly how her precious child caught an incurable killer.

“We want to know as a family, you know, for a peace of mind. It won’t bring him back. It probably won’t make us feel better. But the fact that we know how he got it, how he contracted it, just gives us that peace of mind that we can that we know,” she said.

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