A New Zealand mother almost started losing her son to measles after choosing not to get vaccinated.
Ally Edward-Lasenby spoke with the New Zealand radio show, Laura, Sam and Toni this week, telling her story of what she called the "Russian roulette" that played with her son's life by not having him vaccinated because of fears of autism.
"My 13-year-old son was disappearing before my eyes," he told the radio program.
The mother of two said she vaccinated her eldest son, but when she had her second child, Cameron, she decided not to vaccinate him because of the anti-vaccination literature she had read online.
"Research over time indicated that vaccination had the potential to cause autism. So I took what I thought was an informed decision at that time and chose not to immunize Cameron," he said.
"It was the conversation that was taking place and I didn't want to take the risk at that moment. My biggest mistake and the message I share since then is that if you are making a decision based on the information you have at that moment, it's really important I saw them again, so my son contracted the measles virus. "
Cameron contracted measles at age 13, his symptoms were so severe that he ended up in hospital and almost died.
"Initially it presented itself as a flu virus … When I took it to the doctor's office, they gave him a look and told him you can take him to the hospital faster than we can take an ambulance, we'll even play if you take it in the car, "he said.
"He had white spots in his mouth, he had conjunctivitis and he was really sick. He continued to deteriorate and a rash appeared throughout his body, so they were talking about brain damage, potential brain damage. "
Cameron survived, but was plagued by health problems and a low immune system for the next 12 months.
Mrs Edwards-Lasenby said she is urging people to do their research and now she firmly believes in vaccinations.