Fabrizio Stabile, 29, fell ill after visiting the pool at BSR Cable Park in Waco in September.
He tested positive for Naegleria fowleri, a brain-eating amoeba that usually occurs in warm fresh water.
According to the CDC, Naegleria fowleri causes the onset of primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a brain infection that leads to the destruction of brain tissue and be fatal.
The Naegleria fowleri amoeba is a free-living amoeba found in warm freshwater ponds, lakes and rivers, which feeds on bacteria but can cause a lethal infection in humans. "We are in compliance with the CDC guidelines and recommendations concerning Naegleria fowleri".
There have been no reports of other illnesses, and Naegleria fowleri infection does not spread from person to person. The federal agency says only four of the 143 people known to have been infected in the USA between 1962 and 2017 have survived.
Stabile noticed something was wrong September 16 while mowing the lawn when a painful headache forced him to lie down. He ended up sleeping through the night but still had a headache in the morning. "Unfortunately, Fabrizio was not responding to these measures and his condition was rapidly deteriorating".
NJ.com reported that by the time he was diagnosed, it was "too late to administer the drug that has been given to three of the only five survivors in North America". "Even so, this drug is not easily accessible", Stabile's friend wrote. He died the next day.
He is believed to have contracted Naegleria fowleri during a visit to the BSR Cable Park in Waco, Texas, where he swam in the wave pool. In addition to the GoFundMe, they plan on an annual fundraiser.
Stabile's obituary remembers him as "an avid outdoorsman". "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Stabile family".
The surf park voluntarily closed on Friday pending a CDC investigation, reported local media, and is complying with local health departments.
"The CDC collected water samples and are now investigating to find the source".
CDC has already collected water samples and hopes to deliver conclusions by the end of the week.