A 3-year-old boy is recovering after an extreme allergic reaction to a chocolate candy bar left him hospitalized in a medically-induced coma.
Aisha Vaughan, 34, says her son Omar has severe allergies to dairy, nuts, eggs and sesame seeds.
She has to be very careful about the food that comes in contact with Omar’s body, as even a brush with the skin from the offending foods can cause a severe allergic reaction.
Vaughan, who lives in northwest London with her children and Omar’s father, Curtis, went to a movie with her friends, leaving Omar and his siblings in Curtis’ care.
Halfway through the movie, she received a text message from Curtis saying that Omar could not breathe.
She rushed home to find Curtis, 38, administering an EpiPen shot to Omar, who was struggling desperately to breathe while his body began to swell.
“I felt sick with guilt,” she said. “I watched helplessly as he tended to Omar but the EpiPen didn’t seem to be working. He was rubbing his eyes and wheezing for air and sneezing.
“The EpiPen was not working, even when Curtis gave him another shot.
“Omar’s eyes started to swell up. After seven shots of adrenaline we knew we needed to get him to hospital.”
To her horror, Vaughan realized that Omar had found her secret stash of chocolate that she kept hidden under her bed. He had eaten the Cadbury Wispa Bites she thought were tucked safely away, and now, his body was fighting to survive.
At the hospital, Omar was placed in a medically-induced coma while his body fought the reaction.
“Seeing our baby hooked up to a ventilator left me in floods of tears,” Vaughan told the Daily Star.
She does not blame Curtis for the incident, rather, she blames herself for bringing the dairy product home in the first place.
“This is my fault, I thought, tormented by the sight of Omar in pain,” she said.
“It was hard being mum to kids with such extreme dietary requirements and there are so many things I have had to cut out,” Vaughan explained. “My beloved chocolate was the only thing I’d kept.”
The first 24 hours were the most uncertain, as Omar’s body struggled to recover from such a massive shock to the system.
Three days later, the boy was released from the hospital to continue recovery at home.
“I’m still in shock about Omar’s awful ordeal. I can’t believe it was our chocolate craving that nearly killed our precious baby,” Vaughan said.
The family immediately threw away the chocolates in their home. “We are more careful than ever about what food we allow in the house,” Vaughan added.
“But I will never forget the guilt of watching my little boy fighting for his life.”
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