Authorities recently confirmed the death of a three-year-old boy early last month after he contracted a rare and frequently deadly infection known as the brain-eating amoeba.

A report from The Washington Post through Yahoo! News said in September, when the boy's parents, Bakari Williams, took him to the Arlington, Texas splash pad, he could not control his excitement. The said splash pad was a place Williams' family regularly went to.

That day, the boy was running around sculptures of the public fountain. Such sculptures included a light blue whale, and a yellow-and-green turtle, as a

That day, the boy ran around the public fountain's sculptures - a light blue whale and a yellow-and-green turtle - as an artificial tree palm tree was sprinkling water above his head.

Nevertheless, the child's parents said that all their son wanted to do was lie down right after the visit. The toddler quickly spiked a fever with a temperature over 102 degrees Fahrenheit. He lost appetite, too, said his parents. The boy died on September 11 after he contracted the said disease.

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Science Times - 3-Year-Old Boy Dies from ‘Brain-Eating Amoeba’; Toddler’s Death Comes After Playing in an Arlington, Texas Splash Pad
(Photo: USCDC on Wikimedia Commons)
Naegleria fowleri

Presence of Rare Amoeba at the Splash Pad

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention later verified the "presence of active Naegleria fowleri" at the splash following analysis of water samples.

It said the little boy possibly contracted the rare amoeba at the Don Misenhimer Park water feature. Now, this report said, his parents are filing a case against the city of Arlington, which managed the splash pad, claiming their son would still be alive had the city had proper monitoring and chlorination of the fountain's water.

In a Monday news conference, Tariq Williams' the boy's father, said their son did not deserve to die this way. Meanwhile, a spokesperson with the city of Arlington and Tarrant County Public Health did not immediately respond to messages.

The boy's parents said they took him to the splash pad several times in August and September. However, hours after their last trip last month, the boy had gone very weak to stand on his own.

Poor Maintenance of the Water in Splash Pads

The Washington Post reported the city investigation found that employees at Arlington failed to provide proper maintenance in the water of its splash pads.

Specifically, records from two of the four splash pads of the city, which includes the one where the young boy last played, showed that employees at parks and recreation did not regularly record, or in some circumstances, did not perform, testing for quality of water before the facilities open every day.

According to authorities, as part of their daily tasks, employees at parks and recreation were in charge of checking the water chlorination levels of the splash pads.

However, a review of the inspection records at the Don Misenhimer splash pad showed that levels of water chlorination were not recorded on two of the three dates that the young Williams went to visit the recreational facility.

Gaps Identified

According to Lemuel Randolph, the Deputy City Manager, they were able to identify gaps in their daily inspection program.

He continued, such gaps resulted in them not meeting their maintenance standards at their splash pads. Following investigation results, Arlington Mayor Jim Ross took accountability for the death of the boy. The official said, "We screwed up." He added, it happened under his watch, "and the buck stops here."

In an NBC DFW report early this week, the Williams family announced they are filing a case against the city for negligence and that they are seeking more than $1 million in damages.

Report about Bakari Williams' death was reported on CBSDFW's YouTube video below:


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