LITTLE ROCK, AR-- One week has passed since a 12-year-old parasitic meningitis patient entered Arkansas Children's Hospital. Her mother remains optimistic.
Traci Hardig says she is not pointing the blame at anyone or anything for her daughter's illness, but she wants the focus right now to be on prevention and awareness.
Her daughter, Kali, is being treated for parasitic meningitis. Doctors say the illness has already killed five Arkansans.
Kali's experience is why Traci wants to encourage Central Arkansans to use nose clips while swimming in lakes or rivers.
"You're a mom, you're a dad," Hardig said. "You can still take your child swimming. We don't want to scare people. We just want you to know there are little things you can do to help them out. So they can go and still be a kid."
Only two Americans have survived, a statistic that serves as motivation for shirts created by family members.
A number "3" is in bold print under the phrase, "Kali's Krew".
"This is Kali's Krew," Hardig said. "No. 3 stands for the third person who will survive this amoeba disease. My daughter Kali."
She says Kali is still in intensive care and making slow improvements.
"We are just going to take baby steps, but other than that, she's doing remarkable," she said. "She's a little miracle."
A Facebook page has been created for Kali's recovery, which is exploding with well wishes.
Traci also says an amoeba awareness group out of Texas, called Kyle Cares, has contacted her giving its support.
Hardig says her daughter loves Italian food and as soon as Kali leaves this hospital, the family is going to Olive Garden.