Food allergies appear to be pretty cut and dry to most people. If you have a reaction to particular types of foods, you simply shouldn’t eat them.
You should also avoid meals that may contain such foods or may have come in contact with them. Pretty simple to understand, right?
Hold on a minute, though. As the sad case of an 11-year-old boy from New Jersey shows, it isn’t that simple.
According to the New York Post, Camron Jean-Pierre had a long-standing fish allergy, something his parents were well aware of. But something bizarre happened on New Year’s Day.
He and his father Steven Jean-Pierre had traveled to Brooklyn, New York. They’d made the trip to visit Camron’s grandmother.
But they entered the apartment at the worst time possible: His grandmother was in the process of cooking cod.
— Cheryl (@CBLostnMissing) January 3, 2019
You might not think that would make any difference for a person who is allergic. But Camron’s breathing immediately seized up.
Believe it or not, allergy sufferers often have reactions when breathing in fumes from certain foods. A 2009 study by Daniel A. Ramirez, Jr. and Sami L. Bahna in Clinical and Molecular Allergy confirmed as much.
“Though not widely recognized, food hypersensitivity by inhalation can cause major morbidity in affected individuals,” the authors wrote. “The exposure is usually more obvious and often substantial in occupational environments but frequently occurs in non-occupational settings, such as homes, schools, restaurants, grocery stores, and commercial flights.”
“The exposure can be trivial, as in mere smelling or being in the vicinity of the food. The clinical manifestations can vary from a benign respiratory or cutaneous reaction to a systemic one that can be life-threatening.”
Sadly, Camron’s reaction turned out to be the latter. The boy soon lost consciousness.
Jean-Pierre administered medication to his son via a portable nebulizer. However, it didn’t help.
“I (tried) to give him the machine,” he said. “That usually works.
“But it didn’t take, and then I just called the ambulance.” Unable to find a pulse, he began to administer CPR to Camron.
That brought him back for a moment, long enough for his son to say something very important to his dad: “Daddy, I love you.”
First responders soon arrived, and they rushed Steven to a nearby hospital, where he passed away.
“My son was the best,” Jean-Pierre said. “He made everyone around him happy.
“He made his dad happy. That was my prince, man.”
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