Anti-vaxxer regrets not vaccinating child after he nearly dies: 'I played Russian roulette with my son’s health'

A self-proclaimed "anti-vaxxer" from New Zealand revealed on-air that she nearly cost her son his life after she chose not to vaccinate him. 

In an interview with radio station The Hits, Ally Edward-Lasenby, who had vaccinated one of her children but decided not to vaccinate her son Cameron, said that she chose not to because she had seen research that linked vaccinations with autism. 

"I made what I thought was an informed decision at the time, and I chose not to immunize Cameron," she explained. 

When pressed by the radio hosts on what specific study convinced her to do so, Edward-Lasenby did not cite one but expressed her regret at not doing her due diligence in investigating the supposed connection more. 

"My biggest mistake ... that I've been sharing since has been that if you make a decision based on the information that you hear at the time, it's really important to revisit that," she said. "I didn't do that, and consequently, my son contracted the measles virus ... It was not a very pleasant experience at all." 

Edward-Lasenby said she initially noticed that Cameron exhibited flu-like symptoms and took him to a doctor, who reportedly diagnosed the child with the flu. Three days later, however, her son's condition deteriorated — he became lethargic and was suffering from both a rash and conjunctivitis. 

"[The doctors] took one look at him and said, 'You can get him to the hospital first or we can get an ambulance here,'" she recalled. 

Edward-Lasenby said she drove "like a madwoman" to get her son to the hospital, where the staff there isolated him and a doctor confirmed that he had the measles.

"Initially, he had white spots on his mouth," she said. "He had conjunctivitis. He was really unwell. He continued to deteriorate, and a rash came all over his body. Then they were talking about brain damage — potential brain damage — and the potential loss of life too because it was quite serious."

Though Cameron was eventually treated, he came down with pneumonia, his mother said. 

"We found that his immune system was compromised for 12 months afterwards," Edward-Lasenby said. "He was in and out of school on a regular basis."

When asked whether vaccinations were important, the mother stopped short of encouraging everyone to immunize their children but admitted that she had learned her lesson. 

"I played Russian roulette with my son's health, which I'm not proud of," she said. "He understand that I made the best decision at the time."

The measles is a highly contagious virus that can lead to serious health complications for children, especially those under the age of 5, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Between one and three out of 1,000 people with measles die every year, the agency further notes. Common symptoms of the virus include fever, coughing, red eyes and a rash. 

Although vaccinations can be used to prevent the measles, a number of parents have expressed concerns over the possible link between vaccines and the development of autism. Studies, nevertheless, have repeatedly proven that there is no connection. 

RELATED: Take a look at the treatment, preventative care and vaccinations for measles across the world: 

12 PHOTOS
Treatment, preventative care and vaccinations for measles across the world
See Gallery
Treatment, preventative care and vaccinations for measles across the world
A child receives a vaccination against measles by a family physician on April 16, 2018 in the Romanian capital, Bucharest. Measles still claims young lives in Romania, where nearly 40 children have died in an outbreak that many blame on parents being misled by scare stories that vaccinating them is dangerous. Some 12,000 people have contracted measles since late 2016 in the European Union's second-poorest country, 46 of them died. Among the dead, 39 were children under the age of three who had not been vaccinated, making Romania one of the worst affected countries in the ongoing measles outbreak in Europe. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel MIHAILESCU (Photo credit should read DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images)
A family physician prepares a measles vaccine during a consultation on April 16, 2018 in the Romanian capital, Bucharest. - Measles still claims young lives in Romania, where nearly 40 children have died in an outbreak that many blame on parents being misled by scare stories that vaccinating them is dangerous. Some 12,000 people have contracted measles since late 2016 in the European Union's second-poorest country, 46 of them died. Among the dead, 39 were children under the age of three who had not been vaccinated, making Romania one of the worst affected countries in the ongoing measles outbreak in Europe. (Photo by Daniel MIHAILESCU / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images)
A nurse was seen vaccinating school children at her school in Lhokseumawe, August 4, 2018, Aceh, Indonesia. Vaccination Measles-Rubella (MR) for Indonesian school children is part of the Indonesian government's health program to provide physical immunity from two dangerous diseases, Rubella and Measles in Indonesian children. (Photo by Fachrul Reza/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Artists wearing superhero costumes comfort an elementary student while she receives a German Measles, also known as Rubella, vaccination in Pekanbaru, Riau province on August 1, 2018 as part of the Indonesian governments health program to combat childhood diseases. (Photo by WAHYUDI / AFP) (Photo credit should read WAHYUDI/AFP/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - APRIL 17 : A Syrian child is vaccinated during the measles campaign in Al-Bab district of Aleppo, Syria on April 17, 2018. Kids fled from Eastern Ghouta's Douma after Assad regime forces' suspected chemical attack on April 7, 2018 receive measles vaccine Al-Bab district of Aleppo. (Photo by Omer Alven/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A Venezuelan woman is vaccinated against measles in Cucuta, Colombia, at the international brigde Simon Bolivar on the border with Venezuela, on March 21, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Schneyder Mendoza (Photo credit should read SCHNEYDER MENDOZA/AFP/Getty Images)
Venezuelan, Yan Manuel, receives a free measles vaccine given by a volunteer, after showing his identity card at the Pacaraima border control, Roraima State, Brazil August 19, 2018. REUTERS/Nacho Doce
A member of the Free Revolutionary Police carries out an inspection on a measles vaccine in the southern Idlib countryside September 17, 2014. Fifteen children died after being vaccinated against measles in northern Syria, resulting in the programme being halted, aid workers said on Wednesday, a tragedy likely to damage trust in health services in opposition-held areas. The Free Revolutionary Police is a newly launched unarmed police movement that works in areas controlled by the Free Syrian Army to solve the day-to-day problems in Idlib, the group said. Picture taken September 17, 2014. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi (SYRIA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT HEALTH)
A girl receives anti-measles vaccination drops at a health centre in BASECO compound in Tondo, Manila September 3, 2014. Philippine President Benigno Aquino said on September 1, 2014 between 11 to 13 million people in the country are at risk from measles, polio and rubella (German measles), and asked the public to cooperate in eradicating the preventable diseases, during Monday's launch of a mass national vaccination campaign against measles and polio, reported local media. REUTERS/Erik De Castro (PHILIPPINES - Tags: HEALTH SOCIETY)
A vial of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and an information sheet is seen at Boston Children's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts February 26, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES - Tags: HEALTH)
Rowan Walters, aged four, is held by her mother as she given an MMR injection at the Paediatric Outpatients department at Morriston Hospital in Swansea, south Wales April 6, 2013. Following an increase in the number of confirmed cases of a measles in south Wales, parents in the area were urged to vaccinate their children, and hospitals in the region opened drop-in clinics on Saturday, local media reported. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden (BRITAIN - Tags: SOCIETY HEALTH)
A health worker in Ciudad Juarez at the Mexican border crossing with El Paso, Texas, hands out leaflets to passing motorists and people as part of a measles prevention programme, February 16, 2015. California public health officials have confirmed three more cases of measles in an outbreak that began in late December, bringing to 113 the total number of people believed to have been infected in the state. Health officials in Arizona, where seven cases of measles have been documented, said the outbreak would likely be considered over in that state if no further infections were reported over the weekend. Across the United States, more than 150 people have been diagnosed with measles, many of them linked to an outbreak that authorities believe began when an infected person from out of the country visited Disneyland in late December. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez (MEXICO - Tags: SOCIETY HEALTH IMMIGRATION)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story