Last year, Texas mother Cynthia Salinas lived every parent’s worst nightmare: her newborn son Azael became fatally sick from salmonella meningitis at just one month old. Now, Salinas is suing Similac Pro-Advance infant formula distributor Abbott Nutrition, alleging that their contaminated formula is what killed her son.

As Salinas explained to Telemundo, her son Azael was born perfectly healthy on July 14, 2021, and always had a smile on his face. However, at two weeks old, the infant began to present symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting. When Salinas took him to the doctor, she was simply given Pedialyte and Tylenol, and was sent home.

Azael’s health continued to deteriorate, and Salinas rushed him to the hospital. She now explains, “That’s where everything went downhill. He just got really sick.” She also describes how her child “would go almost five minutes without breathing,” turning purple and blue. Salinas says, “I saw that my baby was not breathing anymore.”

The baby died at just 30 days old from salmonella attacking his brain. The official cause of death was salmonella meningitis. 

Per the current lawsuit, Azael was only ever fed Similac Pro-Advance powdered formula, which was given to Salinas at the hospital she gave birth in. 

Six months after his tragic death, parent company Abbott Nutrition recalled some of their powdered formulas specifically produced at their factory in Sturgis, Michigan. While the FDA was investigating infant infections related to drinking the brand’s formulas, something finally “just clicked” for Salinas. She says, “I ran to where I have this formula and I checked it. And, once I saw it, it was just, my heart, just, it just hurt.”

While Abbott Nutrition says their decision to recall formulas was simply “preventative,” and issued a statement claiming “no Salmonella was found in any of [their] testing of products distributed to consumers,” Salinas insists ingesting the formula led to her baby’s death. 

Azael’s formula matched the recall batch lot number. Salinas immediately felt “betrayed,” describing, “This is supposed to be a really good formula. And now, all this is happening, and you… have a lot of unanswered questions going on right now,” reports KSAT.

Salinas told Telemundo that “the only thing” she wants is justice, sharing, “Seeing what happened to my son, I don’t wish it upon anyone… he suffered a lot.” She also claims that an FDA official visited her home to take samples of her formula.

The FDA has now received a total of 119 complaints related to the formula, and it has been linked to two deaths. 

Salinas says she wants the company to “take responsibility,” explaining, “I don’t want any other mother or any other child [to] have to go through what my son went through.” 

It is important to note that the recall pertained to certain types of Similac, Alimentum and EleCare formulas. You should immediately discard your formula if the first two numbers in the lot code are 22 through 37, the lot code contains K8, SH or Z2, and the expiration date is April 2022 or later. Similac PM 60/40 with a lot code 27032K80 (can) or 27032K800 (case) has also been recalled. 

While Salinas continues to seek justice, her heartbreak is clear, stating, “I miss him so much.”