It was a chance encounter at a pizza parlor that led to a life-changing medical diagnosis for 12-year-old Matthew Fuentes.
The 12-year-old Aliso Viejo boy had been feeling ill, but doctors had found no signs of a problem.
But when his father ran into a family friend, who happens to be a cellular biologist, at a pizzeria on April 12, father Ted Fuentes said. She noticed his skin color looked off and asked to examine him.
By the next morning, Matthew was transferred from an emergency room to Children's Hospital Orange County, where it was determined he has a rare blood condition known as aplastic anemia. He's since undergone five blood transfusions as doctors plan the next phase of his treatment.
A GoFundMe account has been set up online to help the family. The family has also asked for blood donations to be made at Children's Hospital Orange County on Matthew's behalf.
Rick Chambers reports for the KTLA 5 News on April 25, 2019.