A 10-year-old girl from central Texas died Monday morning, Sept. 16, after her family said she contracted a brain-eating amoeba while swimming in a river.

Lily Mae Avant, 10, is described by her family as “sassy” and a “tomboy.”

Lily Mae “began having a headache, and it was quickly followed by a fever” on Sunday, Sept. 8, her family said on a Facebook page created to support the girl.

Her family thought it was a common viral infection at first, but after visits to the family doctor and Lily having a nightmare, the family knew something was not quite right.

“She was incoherent, unresponsive, and was quickly swept up and taken to the ER Lily Mae’s family wrote on the Facebook page.

Lily Mae was then airlifted to Cook Children’s Health Care System in Fort Worth, where a spinal tap found she had contracted a brain-eating amoeba.

Lily Mae’s family does not know exactly where or when she got it but said she had been swimming in the Brazos River near her Valley Mills home over Labor Day weekend.

Lily Mae “fought the good fight,” said her aunt, Loni Yadon, and cousin, Wendy Scott, WFAA reported. “We are standing firm in our faith and the lives she touched.”

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