EXCLUSIVE: Parents speak after child dies of amoeba infection from Minnesota lake
Photo: Caring Bridge, Hunter Boutain
A 14-year-old from Alexandria, Minn. died from what is believed to be a brain-eating amoeba after swimming in Lake Minnewaska earlier this month. Hunter Boutain's parents sat down with Fox 9 for an exclusive emotional interview.
“I couldn’t imagine going through this without the hope of heaven, and knowing one day, I’ll get to see my son again,” his mother Roseanne said.
STORY- Minnesota child develops rare amoeba infection after swimming in Lake Minnewaska
Hunter's parents Jeff and Roseanne Boutain want people to know that there’s so much more to this young man than the way he died. They don’t want his legacy to be “the amoeba boy” from Alexandria.
“He was a go-getter,” his father Jeff said. “I called him my little helper. He was always there to jump in and help. He would always jump in.”
Hunter, who was just heading into high school, was a young man passionate about the bible. He had memorized hundred of verses for quiz contests with his local church team. He also loved the outdoors and he loved his sports.
This was a young man with such a bright future. His family said they’re putting their faith in god as to why he was taken in such a random and tragic way.
“Monday, the day after the Fourth of July weekend he had a severe headache,” Jeff said. “I took him in. I was already at the U.”
Hunter would be dead within days, the Minnesota Department of Health has said it appears the teen succumbed to what’s known as primary amebic meningoencephalitis, which ended up destroying his brain. But the family is awaiting autopsy results.
A large crowd, all wearing Hunter's favorite color turquoise, attended his funeral. The Boutains were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support.
"We just know God’s will has been done," Roseanne said. "Don’t have to like it, don’t necessarily understand it, but we do trust.”
The Boutains want to make sure that no one fears the water on any Minnesota lake. They are a family drawn to the state’s natural resources and that won’t change because of what happened to their son.
“The lakes have been part of my life since I was a little kid," Jeff said. "We never want anyone to fear the lakes.”
A couple of fundraising opportunities to help pay for Hunter's funeral & other expenses: http://www.youcaring.com/hunter-boutain-391099
"Hunter Boutain Memorial Fund"
Glenwood State Bank
2221 S Broadway
Alexandria, MN 56308