Denison 16-month-old infected with malaria

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DENISON, Texas (KXII) -- A Denison family is staying strong for Stryder. The 16-month-old has been infected with malaria.

Stryder Davis was born three months early and spent the first months of his life in the hospital.

"Fortunately for him being born premature he really didn't have many complications until December," said Stryder's mom Rebekah Davis. "He got infected with two separate viruses that caused two different bacteria infections."

Davis says it attacked his lungs and his body couldn't fight off the infection. She says he was put on a life support machine at Children's Medical Center Dallas.

"The Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine caused him to get a hole in his heart so he had two open heart surgeries on the same day," Davis said.

To make matters worse, last Friday Stryder was diagnosed with malaria. His mother says he got it after a blood transfusion.

"They (hospital) did inform me they are working with a blood bank to try and trace back who was the donor, was it multiple donors," Davis said. "They are trying to track it and stop it to make sure no one else has gotten this blood."

A blood bank tells News 12 they don't test for malaria because it's a parasite. They say that's why they ask for travel questions and you need to be honest. If a person has traveled to a malaria risk area they aren't allowed to donate blood for a year.

"I know testing for blood for everything per quart of blood you get is difficult, but it's easier than someone possible losing their life, a child's life before they even begun it," Davis said.

Stryder is on another round of medication for up to two weeks to fight off the malaria. His mom says she will always protect her son.

"This is why parents should ask questions this is why when they turn you down you shouldn't back down from them," Davis said. "This is your kid."