A man from Maryland got a brain-eating amoeba from jet skiing on a river that temporarily paralyzed him after the river.
Ryan Perry, 30, from Bel Air, rode the Susquehanna River on May 8 when he fell, causing water to blow his nose.
The following days he began to experience severe headache, sensitivity to light and vomiting, until finally being admitted to Upper Chesapeake Hospital on 11 May.
He was eventually transferred to another hospital where doctors found that an amoeba had infected him.
When Perry fell, he did not feel the parasite flush into the nasal cavity with the river water – until he began to experience symptoms of the organism that ate his brain tissue away.
Perry underwent three months of treatment, two months of rehabilitation and is finally home, but is still learning to walk, although doctors say they believe he will recover completely.
Ryan Perry, 30, from Bel Air, Maryland, was admitted to hospital after being infected with a brain-eating amoeba. Pictured: Perry in the hospital, thanks to WJZ
Perry fell off his jet ski while riding up the Susquehanna River on May 8 and the water poured in his nose. He experienced three days of severe headache and vomiting and went to the ER
After a week, Perry was transferred to another hospital, where he was placed in a medically induced coma. Pictured: Perry before the accident, left and then right
& # 39; I finally went to the ER … because it was unbearable pain, & # 39; said Perry WMAR from his headache.
According to his sister, Perry began to hallucinate, with severe vibrations and weakness of his lower limbs.
& # 39; That's the last reminder I have, & # 39; he said. & # 39; I was in Upper Chesapeake for about a week and was transported to the University of Maryland Downtown. & # 39;
Doctors placed him in a respirator and in a medically induced coma as they tried to find out the cause of his illness.
& # 39; I tested negative on everything they could test me on & # 39 ;, Perry told WMAR.
& # 39; Finally, they decided that water came in my nose when I was jet skiing. [The amoeba] attacked my brain, traveled to my spinal cord and paralyzed me from my neck. & # 39;
Doctors believe he may be infected with naegleria fowleri, a parasite that can cause a rare and devastating brain infection.
The single-celled organism is often found in warm fresh water, such as lakes, rivers and hot springs, as well as in the soil.
Doctors found that an amoeba had entered Perry & # 39; s brain after water went up when he fell into the water. On the photo: Perry at home in his wheelchair
Perry spent three months in the hospital and two months in rehabilitation. He is currently paralyzed, but doctors say they expect him to recover completely. Pictured: Perry after the accident, left, and before that on a jet ski, right
It usually infects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose. As soon as the amoeba enters the nose, it travels to the brain.
A person cannot get infected by taking water contaminated with Naegleria.
The infection, known as primary amebic meningoencephalitis, is very rare, with only about 35 cases reported in the US in the last decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to a GoFundMe page, Perry was transferred to the University of Maryland Orthopedic Institute on 13 June where he underwent intensive physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
After three months in the hospital and another two months of rehabilitation, he was discharged home.
& # 39; Initially we were not sure if I could ever walk again, & # 39; said Perry to WMAR.
& # 39; I had a neurology appointment at the University of Maryland and my neurologist told me she can't believe the progress I've made and she thinks I'll make it a full recovery.
Perry & # 39; s family has one GoFundMe page to cover his medical expenses. Starting Wednesday afternoon, more than $ 4,000 was raised from a $ 50,000 goal.
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