Wooster baby stricken with meningitis is fighting for his life; parents have a warning for others

Updated: Dec. 9, 2019 at 11:10 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Two Wooster parents are going through the unthinkable right now.

They are forced to watch their baby boy fight for his life.

Doctors diagnosed him with bacterial meningitis right before Thanksgiving.

The parents say doctors told them any one of their kids could have touched something and brought germs home to their son. Or, he could have picked up the bacteria at any store or restaurant out in public.

Brittany Mottern says she and her husband John have now been at Akron Children’s Hospital with their little boy for the last 19 days.

“If i wouldn’t have brought him here, I wouldn’t have him,” she said. “He declined so fast. It wasn’t even 18 hours since he started crying until he was on his death bed in the ER. This is the most traumatic thing I’ve ever been through."

Little Prestley is just 7 months old.

Around Thanksgiving, his parents say they watched him seize for nearly an hour before doctors and nurses put him in a medically induced coma.

“They are so proactive,” John said. “They work like a family, and they saved my son’s life.”

But now, they don’t know if the bacterial meningitis he has will leave a lasting effect on his speech or motor skills.

“I mean if it happens, it happens,” Brittany said. “If it does, he’s my son. We’re here. I have him. I’ll take what I can get. I’ve just got to believe that everything’s going to be fine.”

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, meningitis in children his age is uncommon in the U.S.

Prestley was even vaccinated against the disease.

Doctors told his parents that somehow, someone still passed it on to him, and his immune system is struggling.

“The only thing we can chalk it up to is some random person coming up to him and loving on him because he’s a cute little baby, and it took its toll. It really did,” John said.

“He cries all the time,” Brittany said. “As a mom, it’s hard.”

Both Brittany and John want strangers to consider one thing while they’re out in public.

“I want people to be aware that it’s not OK to touch other people’s kids,” Brittany said.

Prestley’s parents say doctors sent his blood to the lab to see which strand of the disease he has.

They won’t find out for several days.

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