FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Florida boy who was battling a rare brain-eating infection passed away atMiami Children's HospitalSaturday afternoon.
Zachary Reyna, a 12-year-old boy from LaBelle wasbattling a rare, brain-eating amoeba. Hewas on a ventilator awaiting the chance to donate his organs, according to a Saturday post on a Facebook page set up by the boy's family.
"Even though Zac has passed, he will still be saving many lives," the post states.
Friends and family are welcome to visit Zachary on Sunday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. at Miami Children's Hospital, according to the post.
Earlier this week, the boy's father said an experimental treatment had defeated the infection.
"We were told this morning that the antibiotics have defeated the infection. Tests showed negative activity from the amoeba," Zachary's father wrote Wednesday on the "Pray4Number4" Facebook page dedicated to the Little League baseball player.
The day before, it was reported that Zachary's doctors had been told about an experimental breast cancer drug that had helped make an Arkansas girl only the third survivor of this rare form of meningitis.
"This is a small victory, but we know the battle is not over," the statement from Zachary's father said. "Extensive damage was done to his brain, and we need to pray for any form of activity to come from his brain."
At 1:54 p.m. Saturday, the Facebook page announced the former little leaguer was playing baseball for the "Lord's team" after his 20-day battle with the infection.
"He did so well that he'll be the starting 2nd baseman for The Lord's team," the Facebook post states. "I sit back and ask myself, what would make me prouder; my son playing pro ball, being a successful business man or being known for changing and saving thousands of lives for The Lord. It's a no-brainer."
The post had 1,810 likes and 768 comments Saturday evening, many of them offering sympathy for Zachary's family's loss.
Zachary contracted the infection, known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, or PAM, while knee-boarding in a water-filled ditch Aug. 3 near his family's home.
The infection destroys brain tissue and is highly lethal - one out of the 128 people infected in the U.S. since 1962 has survived it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Zachary's family could not be reached for comment Saturday. The Miami Children's Hospital declined comment.
"I hope that Zac continues to touch people and his time here is remembered forever," Saturday's post on his Facebook page states. "We thank everyone for being so caring and I know it's going to be tough on us at first, but we have an awesome support team back home and we are grateful for that. The battle is over for Zac but he won the war."