4-month-old dies from meningitis likely contracted from unvaccinated person

Published:

Less than 24 hours after showing symptoms, a baby died from meningitis.

Now the boy’s mother and father have a message for other parents.

Alexa Dempsey said her son, 4-month-old Killy Schultz was a curious little boy who was always on the move. As he was the morning of June 29.

Advertisement - Story continues below

"He was happy ... he slept well ... did his normal morning dance,” she said.

Twenty-four hours later the healthy, happy infant would be in a pediatric intensive care unit.

Just hours earlier, they headed to the emergency room as a precaution after their son came home from daycare with what they thought was a benign fever and rash.

Things would quickly change.

"He looked sick ... he looked very sick,” Dempsey said.

Several tests later and two days after Killy received his 4-month-old immunizations, the parents were told the baby had most likely contracted meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.

"The moment they said meningitis, I knew there was a really strong possibility that we were going to lose him,” Dempsey said.

Within hours, Dempsey said his heart rate dropped and they started to do CPR.

“After 10 minutes of CPR you don't come back from that. So, we had to tell them to stop,” she said.

Just one day after Killy’s first symptom, he’d take his last breath.

"He was so swollen and purple and really didn't look like him anymore. But I still hold him to tell him how beautiful he was and that he was far more than I ever deserved to have ... And I told him how hard he had fought and that we were so proud of him,” Dempsey said.

Dempsey said health officials believe Killy contracted the disease from an unvaccinated person.

“If anything comes out of this, we want people to be aware that vaccinations can prevent things like this. He was just a baby, so he really didn't have much of a chance,” she said.

The family said the Virginia Department of Health is investigating the meningitis case.

They added the department has been in contact with other who may have been exposed including kids attending the infant’s daycare.