WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A 29-year-old surfer died of a “brain-eating amoeba” after visiting a wave pool in Waco, Texas.
- Fabrizio Stabile tested positive for Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba typically found in warm fresh water, the day before his death.
- Stabile’s loved ones hope to raise awareness of the rare amoeba, which destroys brain tissue and has a fatality rate of more than 97 percent, by starting a foundation in his memory.
Fabrizio Stabile, a 29-year-old surfer from Ventnor, Atlantic County, died of a brain-eating amoeba after a visit to a wave pool at a Central Texas resort.
The Associated Press (AP) reported that Stabile was in the pool at BSR Cable Park in Waco prior to his death at Atlantic City Medical Center on Sept. 21.
According to a GoFundMe page started by his loved ones to create a foundation in his memory, Stabile tested positive for Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba typically found in warm fresh water, the day before his death.
The fundraiser’s organizer wrote that Stabile reported a sudden severe headache while mowing the lawn upon his return to New Jersey.
The GoFundMe page detailed that the pain got worse the next day until he could no longer move or speak coherently when his mother went to check on him. He was then rushed to an area hospital where he was treated for symptoms of meningitis.
The fundraising page explained that Stabile was “tested for a multitude of illnesses caused by various bacteria and viruses, but the results were coming back negative or inconclusive,” and only tested positive for Naegleria fowleri the day before he died.
Stabile’s loved ones hope to raise awareness of the rare brain-eating amoeba which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), destroys brain tissue and has a fatality rate of more than 97 percent.
Page organizer Stephanie Papastephanou wrote, “By the time Fabrizio was diagnosed, it was too late to administer the drug that had previously been provided to three of the only five known survivors in North America. Even so, this drug is not easily accessible.”
According to the AP report, BSR Cable Park closed temporarily on Friday while the CDC conducted tests for the amoeba. The owner has stated that he will comply with further requests.
Stabile was described in his obituary as an “avid outdoorsman” who loved surfing and snowboarding. His love for nature inspired him to work for N.J. Department of Environmental Protection, and Bass Pro Shops, an outdoor equipment shop in Atlantic City.
Instead of flowers, Stabile’s family has asked for donations to Swim Above Water Amoeba Awareness Foundation in his name.