Monday, September 1 2014 1:31 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:31:17 GMT
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says a man on a motorcycle was killed in a crash Monday morning.Troopers say the crash occurred on Bookman Rd. about three miles west of Elgin at about 6 a.m. The motorcycleMore >>
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says a man on a motorcycle was killed in a crash Monday morningMore >>
STATE RADARINTERACTIVE RADARWEATHER ON YOUR MOBILE PHONE
Take a real-time look at where it's raining here in the Midlands and across the state with WIS First Alert radar.More >>
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -
Christian Strickland was his step-father's best friend and his mother's heart.
"I miss him a lot. He made me a better person," said Amber Strickland.
The cycle of life came to a painful and sudden stop at just 9-years-old for Christian.
"That's the hardest part, to imagine that I could be alive for 50 more years and never see his face," said Strickland.
He died one week after attending a fishing camp that took him on the James River.
Somehow a microscopic and naturally occurring amoeba, called Naeglaria Fowleri, was forced up his nose and burrowed in his brain. He reported a headache on a Sunday and could barely get out of bed by Monday.
"I pulled him out of bed and he just melted onto the floor," said Amber.
At the hospital he was diagnosed with Meningoencephalitis. His brain was swelling. Video Amber has kept guarded until now from Christian's time in the hospital shows what this amoeba did to her son. On the home video you can hear them talking.
Amber: "Christian look at me. Look at me!"
Christian: "I don't know where you are."
Amber: "You don't know who I am or where I am?"
Christian: "I see you."
"This is deadly, it's swift and not only that, the family that is standing there with every last ounce of hope they have, watching their child suffer until he dies," said Strickland while fighting back tears.
Within three days of arriving at the hospital Christian was gone.
"He said, 'I love you' and I said, 'I love you too.' At the time I didn't appreciate that. You know, I mean I was hurting so badly, that I didn't appreciate you know that I got those last words from him. But I cherish them now," said Strickland.
Lurking in warm bodies of fresh water like the James River or Lake Anna, Naegleari Fowleri is almost always fatal. There's no cure, it's hard to diagnose, and it's extremely rare.
"We think this is really related to water temperature. So you see it in the Southern-tier states at the bottom of the US," said Dr. Michael Beach with the Centers for Disease Control.
Last year there were 4 deaths. Along with Christian, a 16-year-old died a week after swimming in a Florida river. Two adults in Louisiana died after using neti pots filled with Louisiana tap water.
Naegleria folweri has taken more than 120 lives since it was first discovered in the 1960s and yet little is known about the free living amoebas. It thrives in warm stagnant waters and soil, usually popping up in the summer months
"It is a great mystery. We don't really understand why the very few people who are exposed and develop this illness. Why that happens," said Dr. Vincent Hill with the CDC. "We're trying to understand it better."
Last August, the Center's for Disease Control announced it was attempting to develop a test for quickly detecting the amoebas. The agency said it would ask Virginia for samples from several waterways, but so far that sampling has not been done.
A year later the CDC is still perfecting the test. "It's really trying to study the environment to see if we can improve our understanding of this organism. To say whether we can even make any better public health recommendations," said Hill.
Amber Strickland wants waters tested nationwide and signs put up if Naegleri is present so people can make their own decisions.
"It doesn't take much to protect your children. You know it really doesn't. a nose plug," said Strickland.
She carries Christian's story on her back. Like most parents, before last summer she'd never heard of Naeglaria.
Swallowing this amoeba does not hurt you, it's only when it's forced up the nose and again, infections are extremely rare.
One of the world's leading experts on this amoeba is a VCU professor who's studied it for the past 30 years.
Sunday, August 31 2014 4:12 PM EDT2014-08-31 20:12:10 GMT
CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Dozens of videos are all over Twitter from parties held at Coastal Carolina University. Many of the posts lead back to a group called I'm Shmacked. It makes videos at universitiesMore >>
Dozens of videos are all over social media from parties held at Coastal Carolina University.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 12:21 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:21:29 GMT
An Alexander County woman is facing charges after deputies say she molested a four-year-old at a church while services were happening. According to the Alexander County Sheriff's Office, 52-year-old CarolMore >>
According to the Alexander County Sheriff's Office, 52-year-old Carol Diane Britto, of Taylorsville, was charged with one count of first degree statutory sex offense and one count of indecent liberties with a child.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 8:58 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:58:33 GMT
You've likely noticed a spike in gas prices across the Midlands. They have jumped almost 15 cents after a steady drop nationwide.Prices are about $3.11 in the area on Labor Day, which, when compared toMore >>
You've likely noticed a spike in gas prices across the Midlands. They have jumped almost 15 cents after a steady drop nationwide.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 8:32 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:32:26 GMT
With a severe thunderstorm moving its way through the Midlands, customers across Richland and Lexington counties currently find themselves without power. South Carolina Electric & Gas is reporting overMore >>
Over 4,000 outages have been reported across the Midlands according to SCE&G.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:54:12 GMT
Whitney Hempsey remembered what doctors told her before she gave birth to her second child years ago. "It's like, 'Hey, are you tired of being pregnant?" Hempsey recalled. "'We can give you this and youMore >>
Mothers come together at Improving Birth Rally in an effort to stop rushed births.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 6:18 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:18:34 GMT
Under a bright Carolina sun, citizens across the state enjoy going out and making a few waves on the lakes. Some like Johnathan Crossland enjoy fishing as a method of recreation and relaxation for a while.More >>
Boaters and law enforcement officials provide safety advice when making waves on the lakes.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 3:55 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:55:16 GMT
As America's population of World War II veterans continues to shrink, respect for their role in history appears to be growing. Among those heroes are the thousands of troops who brought Hitler's EuropeMore >>
As America's population of World War II veterans continues to shrink, respect for their role in history appears to be growing.More >>