A 29-year-old surfer from Atlantic County has died of a "brain-eating amoeba" after visiting the wave pool at a resort in central Texas.
Fabrizio Stabile, from Ventnor, had been in the pool of BSR Cable Park in Waco before his death at the Atlantic City Medical Center on September 21, reported The Associated Press.
Stable was tested positive for Naegleria fowleri – an amoeba typically found in warm fresh water – – The day before his death, according to a GoFundMe page started by relatives to create a foundation in his memory.
When Stabile returned to New Jersey, the organizer of the charity event reported he reported sudden severe headache when mowing the lawn.
It only got worse the next day, and when his mother went to look after him, he could not move or speak coherently, and he was taken to a district hospital where he was being treated for the symptoms of meningitis GoFundMe Page
Stable "has been tested for a variety of diseases caused by various bacteria and viruses, but the results were negative or ambiguous," reads the GoFundMe site.
On Thursday, September 20, the day before his death, he was finally tested positive for Naegleria fowleri.
Stable family and friends hope to draw attention to the rare amoeba that destroys brain tissue and has a mortality rate of more than 97 percent, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"By diagnosing Fabrizio, it was too late to administer the drug previously administered to three of the only five known survivors in North America," wrote site organizer Stephanie Papastephanou. "Nevertheless, this drug is not easily accessible."
The BSR Cable Park was temporarily closed on Friday while the CDC conducted tests for the amoeba, the AP reported, and the owner of the water park has stated that he will fulfill further requests.
Stable obituary says he is an "avid nature boy". He loved snowboarding and surfing, and his passion for nature led him to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection and Bass Pro Shops, an outdoor equipment shop in Atlantic City.
"With great sorrow and heavy hearts, we mourn the loss of a FAB ulous colleague," the store said on Facebook. "Our thoughts and prayers go to the entire stable family.
Stable family has asked for donations for the Amoeba Consciousness Foundation in its name instead of flowers.
The Associated Press has contributed to this report