In the last decade, food allergies have skyrocketed. According to a study by FAIR health, severe allergic reactions to food increased a staggering 377% from 2007-2016.
Food allergies should never be taken lightly, as this number continues to climb today. Many people with allergies can have a fatal reaction simply by being exposed to their allergen in the air, especially if they have asthma. For many, their allergen is often hiding in plain sight.
12-year-old Amanda Huynh was on her way home from school one day when she took a bite of a granola bar she usually ate.
With asthma and a severe peanut allergy since the age of 3, Amanda had dealt with a previous four reactions, the most recent being just one year earlier.
But this time, she bit into her bar, “she began to feel sick and was rushed to the high school. Once there, school nurses were able to treat her with an EpiPen until an ambulance arrived.”
But sadly, the reaction had already begun, and the Epi-Pen wasn’t able to be given as soon as the reaction started since she did not carry one.
When she was young, Amanda had been given an Epi-Pen, but she stopped carrying it when she got older.
Once an ambulance arrived at the high school, Amanda was taken to a hospital eight miles away. She was then airlifted to a children’s hospital.
After fighting the reaction for a day, doctors told Amanda’s family that if she pulled through, she would have severe brain damage.
“She would not be the same person she use to be. Her brain had been severely damaged. This morning the doctors declared her braindead and her body is not responsive,” her brother wrote on a GoFundMe page.
Tragically, Amanda passed away the next day. Her brother Dillon created a GoFundMe page just before her death to bring awareness to the allergy community and to raise money for her funeral and family. The fundraiser with a $2,000 goal has since raised over $10,000.
“Please watch over your children,” Dillon wrote. “Peanut Allergies are very dangerous and I don’t want you to suffer through the same thing Amanda went through.”
“Amanda was so bright, she was so smart and energetic all the time,” he wrote. “The last time she said to me was that she was going to the skating rink and gave me 2 hugs before she went off with her friends. The last words she said to my mom were ‘Is Dillon coming home tonight? I love you mom’ as she walked onto the bus to school.”
This story is a tragic reminder of just how dangerous food allergies are. You can never be too careful when it comes to protecting yourself, your children, and others with allergies.
No matter how comfortable someone is or how “minor” they think their allergy is, they should always carry 2 epinephrine auto-injectors with them at all times.
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