WESTERVILLE, Ohio — A swimming excursion on a church trip turned fatal when a teen died after contracting a brain-eating amoeba.
The 18-year-old girl, who has not been identified, was traveling from Ohio to West Virginia and North Carolina with the Church of Messiah United Methodist Church’s youth music ministry group, WCMH reported.
While it is unknown exactly where the teen contracted this amoeba, the church group did stop to whitewater raft at the U.S Whitewater Center in North Carolina.
The girl contracted meningoencephalitis, an infection that interferes with the brain. According to the CDC, this infection, caused by a rare amoeba found in freshwater, is almost always fatal.
“We will deeply miss her, but we were so blessed by her presence and her gifts that she just shared in a beautiful way,” senior church pastor Jim Wilson told WCMH. “She was a special person.”