Brain-eating amoeba kills woman after a swim in Colorado River


Water skiing wakeboarding and fishing were things Kelsey McClain lived for.

“Pretty much anything to do with the outdoors, she loved,” said McClain’s mother, Jennifer McClain.

But she also died by the outdoors.

In August 2015, McClain celebrated her 24th birthday at Fisher’s Landing, a resort along the Colorado River. She felt fine when she got back home to El Cajon, California, but that changed a few days later.

“With what she described as a pounding headache,” her mother said.

Prescription painkillers hardly helped. McClain woke up the next morning unable to speak or move her head. Doctors admitted her, suspecting bacterial meningitis.

“It was apparent to everyone this was progressing,” Jennifer said.

Multiple antibiotics failed, and McClain’s condition worsened.

“She had a full grand mal seizure,” Jennifer said.

Eight days after she got back from celebrating her birthday, McClain was brain dead.


About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: