The anti-vaccination movement likes to think that they are doing the world a favor. By unveiling the “secret evils” of vaccines, they believe they are preventing autism in at least thousands, if not millions of babies.

But the truth is, their crusade is putting their kids and other kids at risk of catching diseases that could potentially threaten their lives.

Alex Dempsey recently drove to her son Killy’s daycare to pick him up. The 4-month-old was suffering from a fever, but she didn’t think too much of it at the time. Assuming it was a stomach bug, she prescribed him some rest.

Once Killy started showing a rash, she became a bit more concerned. When Tylenol wasn’t helping with the fever, she knew something must be wrong with her little boy.

She rushed him to the emergency room, where Killy was quickly diagnosed with meningitis, a life-threatening infection that had long been prevented through a simple vaccine.

The doctors have also made it clear that this infection didn’t just come out of thin air. They saw another person at the same daycare who also was suffering from the same infection. Except this person wasn’t vaccinated.

Meningitis affects the brain in a significant way. It infects the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord and comes in different forms. The viral form is rarely life-threatening, but the same can’t be said for the bacterial version that Killy caught from this unvaccinated child.

Symptoms of this horrible infection include fever, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, muscle pain, and a serious rash. They can take anywhere from 1-4 days to show up, making diagnosing this life-threatening issue early crucial to survival.

The CDC recommends that all children be given a version of the meningitis vaccine between the ages of 11 and 12, with another “booster” given around age 16. In this case, doctors say that an unvaccinated adult was likely carrying the bacterial infection in their throat or sinus and may not have been seeing any symptoms.

Due to his young age, Killy just didn’t have the immune system necessary to fight off this type of infection. He passed away from the infection less than 24 hours after he first arrived at the hospital.

“The moment they said meningitis I knew there was a really strong possibility that we were going to lose him,” Dempsey told WTVR. “Being he was only four months old he didn’t have an immune system to help us with that.”

Demsey clarified exactly what the doctors told her after her son’s tragic death. “Health officials we’ve spoken to who have been trying to track this down, that’s just their best guess, that an unvaccinated person was carrying it around and my child happened to be the one who came in contact with it,” she continued.

“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 didn’t have much of a chance.” Keep this family in your thoughts today as they mourn the death of their infant son Killy.