An infant boy, Ryland Joseph, contracted Legionnaires’ disease while receiving a bone marrow transplant at the UC San Francisco Medical Center due to Wiskott – Aldrich syndrome (WAS), a rare disease characterized by immune deficiency and a reduced ability to form blood clots. The procedure went well, but Ryland contracted Legionnaires’ disease during his stay from April 17 to May 16 and ultimately died from the illness.
According to court documents filed late October, the UC San Francisco Medical Center and Benoiff Children’s Hospital knew the water system was contaminated with Legionella. A doctor even told Ryland’s parents, Kellie and Rodd Joseph, “[d]on’t use the shower…there’s a bug in the water.”
Even more disturbing is the fact that there were instances in 1992 and 1998 at the same facility in which children contracted Legionnaires’ disease; one boy died in 1992.
“We put on uniforms every day to serve and protect — to save lives,” Kellie said. “My son did not die in vain, we want to save lives by letting people know about this. This should not happen to another person or another family.”