I've been pretty shaken up all day over a news story I heard about a 13 year old girl who died recently from anaphylactic shock due to her peanut allergy. She accidentally took a bite of something she didn't know had peanut butter in it and the minute she recognized the taste she spit it out. Her mother immediately gave her Benedryl. But the bite was too much and within 20 minutes she was vomiting and went into anaphylactic shock. Her dad, who is a doctor, gave her three shots of epinephrine (epi pens) and she was rushed to the hospital but within two hours she was in dead. Her father is a doctor, was right there and had the epinephrine and he still couldn't save her.
We carry epi pens everywhere with us and yet--I will say it one more time--even those didn't save her. That really scares me. I didn't realize that was a possibility. I thought I had the antidote. Wow. How terrifying. These poor kids with these horrible allergies. It's so hard to teach them how serious they are--especially if they are like my son who has never had a reaction.
I guess, if had one request, or one wish, it would be for you to help spread the word about how serious these food allergies are, or can be. People DIE from them. They are not silly, roll your eyes, don't take seriously issues but that is what happens a LOT of the time (not the death) the not getting taken seriously. It is very frustrating and dangerous to those with allergies to not be taken seriously.
I have two older daughters who have food allergies as well and some people have actually been mean to one of my daughters about her allergies. In one situation, a co-worker would bring and eat things very near her that could have thrown her into anaphylactic shock. When she talked to him about it he acted like she was an idiot and his behavior only got worse and more aggressive. She finally had to ask management to step in -- and then she almost needed a doctor's note to prove her allergy to them. This daughter has anaphylactic reaction to all nuts. She is severely allergic to them.
Here is the link to the story I mentioned. It's very, very sad. I feel awful for these parents. It's such a needless tragedy.
They are hoping her death will not be in vain--that others will hear of her death and be alerted to the seriousness of food allergies. Though devastated her parents released the following statement:
our hearts are breaking over the tragic loss of our beautiful daughter Natalie,
it is our hope that others can learn from this and realize that nut and food
allergies are life-threatening ... Caution and care for those (afflicted) should
always be supported and taken."