Those of you who have seen my warnings about using non sterile nasal irrigation water may remember the villain of those tales: a brain-eating amoeba known as Naegleria fowleri.
The warnings were especially dire because the death rate was as well: hundreds of people die worldwide every year from drinking or rinsing with water that has become infested with N. fowleri, usually in standing pools, puddles, or unclean sanitation runoff.
For the purposes of balance, however, it is perhaps worth noting that N. fowleri is not 100% fatal, as this story attests. It is an extraordinary narrative about how convenience, luck, and unmitigated heroics by a number of medical professionals resulted in a rushed treatment for Naegleria fowleri that arrived just in time to save a life.
It is also a notable exception within a long litany of deadly outcomes, which is why we should note that the dangers of N. fowleri remain real and pressing.
To protect yourself, just remember to use distilled water when you irrigate, and clean water for everything else.