TIME New York

Boyfriend of Teen Who Died From Brain-Eating Amoeba: ‘I Lost the Love of My Life’

"We were supposed to live a long life and have a family and now it's all gone"

The boyfriend of a New York teenager who died from a brain-eating amoeba mourned the loss of his “soulmate” in an emotional new interview and recalled her final moments in which she “started to lose her mind.”

Luke Carquillat told People that his 19-year-old girlfriend Kerry Stoutenburgh’s health dramatically declined in the days following a trip to Maryland in which she went swimming in a creek last month and contracted the amoeba, called Naegleria Fowleri.

“When her head started pounding and she felt woozy, she got so scared, she had no idea what was going on, so I stayed with her,” said Carquillat, 20. “And then she started to lose her mind—crying and then going back to normal constantly and speaking incoherently and screaming and crawling on the floor.”

“I promised her I would be with her until the end and that I’d do anything for her,” he added. “What Kerry and I had was a fairy tale. I stayed with her until the very, very end. Like I said I always would.”

Stoutenburgh was declared brain dead on Aug. 30 and was pulled off life support the next day after a officials confirmed she was suffering from Naegleria Fowleri, according to the magazine.

“We were supposed to live a long life and have a family and now it’s all gone,” said Carquillat, who lived with Stoutenburgh in Brooklyn. “I got to experience true love for two years and I’m so grateful, but I lost the love of my life.”

Before she died, Stoutenburgh told her boyfriend that she loved him, according to People. “And I said, ‘I love you too, lovey,’ ” Carquillat said. “And then she was gone.”

[People]

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


YOU BROKE TIME.COM!

Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team