Spring boy dies from mysterious skin infection

Doctors trying to figure out if it was flesh-eating bacteria

Published On: Jul 18 2012 08:05:17 AM CDT   Updated On: Jul 17 2012 10:21:56 PM CDT
skin infection kid
HOUSTON -

A 7-year-old boy from Spring died while vacationing in California after he contracted an infection.

Health workers want to know if a flesh-eating bacteria caused his death.

Tevita Alatini's family said they noticed a rapidly growing red spot in his left armpit after he went swimming in a lake. Hours later, he was gone.

Sione Niko said his nephew wasn't himself at a family reunion in San Diego on July 9.

The boy's parents feared the worst and rushed him to a hospital emergency room to get the growing blotch treated.

"He was running a fever and he couldn't hold down any water," Niko said. "He was complaining about a pain on his side. It started off like a little rash and it just got bigger."

The second grader, who loved to swim, was then airlifted to another hospital, but before he could get into surgery, he died.

His uncle is still in disbelief that Tevita's passing happened in just a matter of hours.

Tevita's doctors said it's going to take post-mortem testing of the boy's tissue samples to determine what type of infection he had, and how it spread so quickly through his system.