SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — For the fifth year in a row, a Jordan’s Sporting Goods Store is returning for a two-day Christmas event in Seminole County.
- Jordan's Sporting Goods Store honors Jordan Smelski, 11
- Jordan died from a brain-eating amoeba while on vacation
- Store open December 8-9, sells sporting goods, bikes for free
The store is open to honor Jordan Smelski, who died from a brain-eating amoeba while on vacation with his family. He was 11.
In 2014 Steve and Shelly Smelski, along with their son Jordan, went to Costa Rica for vacation. Jordan, who loved sports, went to a resort pool that was filled with hot springs water with his father.
That one afternoon turned into a life-changing event for the Smelski family.
"The water went up his nose. (He) couldn’t go down the slide without water going up his nose," Steve Smelski explained. "And the water was infected with amoeba Naegleria fowleri. (The water) wasn’t chlorinated, and headaches started the next day.”
Seven days after the family returned from their vacation because Jordan wasn’t feeling well, the 11-year-old died.
An amoeba entered his nose, went through the front lobes of his brain, and then started to destroy brain tissue.
Later that year, Steve received a call from his sister-in-law that would help both him and his wife. She told the couple about a recent dream she had.
"I had a dream about Jordan last night," Steve said, with a smile, his sister-in-law told them.
"We were so jealous, because we hadn’t had any dreams since Jordan died, and we were like, ‘What did he say?’ And he said, ‘I need to start a store,’” Steve explained.
Thus the boy who always asked his parents if all children received Christmas presents inspired his parents to open up a store where children could come get their sporting goods and bikes for free.
The Smelski’s admit the holidays are tough, but through the Christmas holiday, they can feel close to their son and spread the word about amoeba awareness.
Jordan’s Sporting Goods Store is located at the West Town Corners Plaza. It’s on 280 South State Road 434 in Altamonte Springs next to the Sprint Store.
They will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
For more information, you can go to www.jordanssmile.org.