A Virginia family went from changing diapers to planning their child’s funeral in the span of almost 24 hours. Now they’re issuing a warning to all parents to make sure their children are up to date on their vaccinations.
Killy Schultz came down with a rash and a fever on the way home from day care, WTVR reported.
His mother, Alex Dempsey, said her son was warm, but she attributed it to the warm weather. But when a dose of Tylenol didn’t work, she took her 4-month-old son to an area emergency room. Each hour, Killy’s health worsened, eventually forcing him to be admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit.
He was diagnosed with meningitis, WTVR reported. It had been only two days after he had had his most recent vaccinations.
Doctors prepared Dempsey and her fiancée, Gabriel Schultz, for the worst and that the baby didn’t have an immune system prepared to fight the illness, WTVR reported.
Then his heart rate dropped. Doctors started CPR.
“Just out of the blue his heart rate dropped, and they started to do CPR and after 10 minutes of CPR, you don’t come back from that, so we had to tell them to stop,” Dempsey told WTVR. “After 10 minutes of CPR grown adults don’t come back from that. He was brain dead.”
The Virginia Department of Health is investigating how Killy contracted the disease and all who came in contact with the baby, including the other children at the day care, have been given a preventive dose of antibiotics, according to WTVR.
The health department believes that an unvaccinated person had the illness and happened to pass it on to Killy.
“If anything comes out of this we want people to be aware that vaccinations can prevent things like this. Vaccines aren’t just for kids, they’re for adults too. He was just a baby, so he really didn’t have much of a chance,” Dempsey told WTVR.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that all preteens and teens get a meningococcal vaccine, with the first vaccination coming at age 11 or 12, and a booster coming at 16 years old.