Lifestyle & Human Interest

After Severe Allergic Reaction Lands Toddler in the Hospital, Community Pulls Together to Donate $35K


Parents whose kids have serious allergies are already well aware of the vigilance necessary to protect their children from harm. They know the work involved, the education that has to take place and all the ways their lives have changed to accommodate their child’s needs.

People who don’t have to scour food labels or keep epi-pens stocked might be blissfully unaware of the considerations those parents face, but now Cameron and Rebecca Caldwell are hoping to share a bit of their story in hopes that others will better understand the struggles faced by those with severe allergies.

Logan Caldwell is 21 months old and is allergic to wheat, nuts and eggs, and also has asthma. In late July, he was exposed to wheat when he ate a corn tortilla that included that ingredient.

A GoFundMe set up for the family described the terrible series of events that happened as a result.

“Yesterday around 11am, (7/28) Logan ate a corn tortilla quesadilla that unknowingly had wheat in it for lunch,” the page stated. “Logan immediately starting breaking out into hives all over and his mouth began to swell. Rebecca gave Logan an epi pen injection and an albuterol inhaler to keep his lungs clear and rushed him to the hospital. On the way to the hospital, Logan went into anaphylactic shock and his airway started to close up.

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“Rebecca made it to the hospital just in time for them to open his airway. The hospital staff administered 5 more doses of epinephrine, but his facial swelling continued to get worse. They then put him on a epinephrine drip through an IV and intubated Logan to help him breathe.

“Logan began vomiting and the tube in his lungs got blocked by debris. The blockage caused his oxygen levels to dropped drastically and sent him into cardiac arrest. The hospital staff began CPR and after 4 minutes Logan’s heart began to beat again on its [own]. When Logan was more stable they put him on a ventilator to breathe for him.

“Logan was emergency transported to Dell Children’s Medical Center, which is the #1 children’s hospital in the State of Texas. Logan has been in their care since yesterday afternoon (7/28) and is now stabilized and being monitored. Logan is currently on full ventilation, heavily sedated and in a temporary chemically induced paralysis.

“They are checking his brain activity for seizures and checking his heart and lungs closely due to the trauma. He still has a lot of fluid in the lungs but his vitals are stable. Logan will remain at Dell Children’s Hospital for the time being to let his body recover from the trauma and reach a point that it is safe for doctors to start evaluating and planning the next steps.”

Mercifully, after a five-day stay, Logan was fully recovered. Even though he’d experienced cardiac arrest, there was no long-term heart or brain damage.

Cameron, who is also an officer with the Austin Police Department, recalled the moment he learned that the epi-pens were having no effect on his son’s condition.

“[Rebecca] gave him the epi-pen, and that seemed to have like, little to no reaction,” Cameron told KXAN-TV. “When I walked in [to the hospital], they already gave him I think five epi-pens in total, and it wasn’t working. It was just getting worse and worse and worse.”

Both Cameron and Rebecca religiously scan food labels and do their best to keep their son supplied with safe foods and snacks. There are so many variables, and getting the proper education is vital.

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“It’s definitely a learning process for everybody,” Rebecca said. “I know my family is wanting to get CPR certified now just because of what Logan went through, which is great. We’ve given them our training so that they can learn and not be scared to use an epi-pen, and I think everybody — I think they need to teach it in school, honestly. Because you never know when you might be the one to help save somebody’s life.

“Just trust your instincts, research, learn, educate yourself and for others as well.”

Thanks to the fundraiser set up for them, the family received nearly $34,000 in donations to help pay for treatments, tests and other bills.

“It was just people, friends, family, coworkers, people we didn’t even know, you know, it was just very humbling because we just didn’t expect it,” Rebecca said. “I truly believe that’s why he didn’t stay that long in the hospital, you know? It’s just all the support and all the prayers.”

“It was incredibly humbling to know that in your moment of need, there are people there for you, which you might not even know,” Cameron added.

“You might not even realize, you just go through life and you’re just like, you know, you don’t think you’re that important or whatever. But it’s incredibly humbling to see how many people support you out of nowhere.”

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