Five year old Abby Lambert was playing with her cousins on a family vacation at an Arkansas Lake on Monday, August 13th. No worry bigger than getting ready to start school. Within days, she was dead. It started with the usual kid complaints of not feeling good.
Patty Lyons, Abby's Grandmother: "She complained of a headache and Lynette gave her Tylenol and she did fine."
The same symptoms the next day, then, the next came an upset stomach and Abby's parents took her to a hospital. Then came a seizure. She stopped breathing, and by Friday, she was brain dead. It all happened so fast, and was so unexplainable.
Bob Lyons, Abby's Grandfather: "In our society, we always think there's a magic pill and sometimes there is. It's hard to comprehend, how this could occur and at such a rapid pace."
This close-knit family could barely comprehend how the little girl who wanted to dance like Britney Spears, was no longer with them.
Patty Lyons: "They confirmed it was viral encepalitis, but, did not know what caused it."
Doctors don't know if it was an amoeba or a mosquito or what caused this healthy, vibrant little girl to die, despite all the best efforts of her parents and a team of doctors.
Of course, knowing will give them an answer, but, not comfort. Family members must find that within.
Bob Lyons; "A Child that age is innocent and admitted to heaven, instantly, in a flash, and we find great comfort in that."
And, comfort comes from knowing Abby's five years were filled with the love of family and friends - that her life was celebrated and will not be forgotten. A full autopsy was done on Abby's body. All her medications and test samples were sent to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta in hopes of finding out what caused the encephalitis.