SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL/CNN) - A California mother claims her 7-year-old son, who is terminally ill, was exposed to measles at a hospital due to what she calls an "irresponsible decision" to not vaccinate a child.
Rayna Souza said her son Jackson was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis at 4 months old -- which caused more than 100 tumors, both big and small, to grow in his brain.
"It’s terminal, and he will succumb to his disease at some point," she said.
On March 17, Souza took her son to UC Davis Medical Center after he began having seizures. Days later, the mom said doctors told her that Jackson had been exposed to the viral infection during his stay.
"When I found out, I was mortified," she said.
Doctors reportedly told her the source of infection was a an unvaccinated girl who caught the measles while overseas.
Dr. Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis Health, said Jackson and the girl were treated in the same emergency department room.
"It was less than an hour of separation between them," he told KTXL. "So, there was potentially still measles virus in the air."
When Jackson was put in the room, Blumberg said it was not yet known the girl had measles. He said it’s hard for most doctors to identify the disease because it’s so rare. It apparently took days for doctors to confirm the young girl’s diagnosis.
Blumberg said although Jackson was exposed, he does not believe the child has measles. However, Souza says she's seen all of the symptoms, and her son had to be quarantined at the hospital for 18 days.
Souza said she feels the negligence of other parents may shorten her son’s already delicate life.
"People making irresponsible decisions for their family and their child need to really, really look and see how that could affect other people because I still could lose my son," she said.