by Max Brantley
Dr. Matt Linam, the infectious disease doctor at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, finds it difficult to ascribe a single factor to Kali’s survival: Her diagnosis had been unconventional and much faster than in other cases. (“If they hadn’t identified it until the next day,” he says, “we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation.”) The hospital used a new dialysis machine to treat the side effects of the antibiotics. Some suspect the amoeba was not as virulent or perhaps Kali had been exposed to the organism previously and somehow built up an immunity. That Kali survived is a miracle to him. He was preparing a case report and hoped there had been something he’d done differently. With only one case, it is difficult to know for sure.