Everything was falling into place for 20-year-old Koral Reef — she found the perfect wedding dress, tied the knot with her high school sweetheart, and was planning the next chapter of her life — that is, until she contracted a brain-eating amoeba that eventually killed her.
Symptoms started happening after a family trip to Lake Havasu in Arizona. She suffered from headaches, a stiff neck, and sensitivity to heat and light. Although doctors couldn't pinpoint what the exact issue was at the time, her family was rightfully concerned.
“They said, ‘Oh, she’s having withdrawal from her birth control; It’s a migraine.’ They gave her medicine and sent her home and then she progressively got worse,” her mother, Cybil Meister, told 'NBC.'
Koral on Christmas 2011. (Photo Credit: Facebook)
Just one month before she passed away, Koral started to lose her vision and her family brought her to the hospital to get an MRI.
"They showed us the MRI and the amoeba, which they didn't know was an amoeba, but there was a mass covering the entire right side of her brain and partial of her left,” the mother continued.
Doctors now claim she contracted a rare, deadly amoeba called Balamuthia and her mother believes it occurred while she was swimming in the lake on her family vacation in Arizona.
Koral's mother has been trying to spread awareness about her daughter's situation, hoping to prevent it from happening to anyone else ever again.
More on Koral's story here:
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