Ask Dr. Renee: How Did Food Allergies Kill Two Teenagers?
How Did Food Allergies Kill Two Teenagers?
As a person who has grown up my entire life with food allergies. I guess I can share them with you. I hope you have a pen and pencil.
Seafood (I can not smell seafood cooking either)
I don’t remember not knowing that I could not eat everything everyone else ate. I have known all my life I was special. My mom often made two dinners. When I was a kid I ordered the same thing at every restaurant we went to Fried Chicken Fingers and French Fries. After college I discovered that I could eat other things without getting sick. It broke my heart and my heart continues to break for 2 families that I learned of this week. One family was close to home. Chandler Swink was a freshman at Oakland University. He was at a friends apartment while they were baking peanut butter cookies. He either had cross contamination with his food or one of the people who came in contact with the cookies touched him and he began to have a reaction. He went to his car to get his Epinephrine Auto-Injector, he injected himself and decided to drive himself to the hospital. He was found unconscious in the parking lot of the hospital. This is so sad because he did not need to die. If he just injected himself and had his friends call 911 he would probably still be alive today. This is why I am such a HUGE advocate for Asthma and Allergies. It is important that kids with allergies realize they are special and do not need to be ostersized and singled out. Nowadays so many people have allergies more than likely they are not the only one. I have a feeling his friends did not know he was allergic so they did not know to be very careful around him. I go to New Year’s dinner at my friends house every year and every year they eat crab legs. They all know I am allergic and I watch everyones hands like a hawk. Ten years of dinners and I have never had a reaction. Chandler’s family decided to turn off the life support on 11/24/14 because he was brain dead. Jamie Mendoza from Wisconsin was a 16 year old who thought he was eating chocolate chip cookies that were peanut butter cookies. He started having a reaction and his friend drove him to the hospital. He did not have an Epinephrine Auto-Injector which would have saved his life. This incident happened 10/15/14 and they turned off his life support this past week.
I am not a parent yet but I am sure that their parents would love to know that their children did not die in vain. There is a huge lesson here Epinephrine Auto-Injectors are great but you have to seek immediate medical attention which it says all over the injector. It is very important that you know what is in the food you eat. If you do not want to ask questions then don’t eat it. There are plenty of places I go where I do not eat at all because I just don’t feel like asking what’s in the food. Anaphylaxis reactions are LIFE THREATENING and need to be treated that way. Please share with me below what your experiences have been or any questions you have about food allergies.