True Stories - Beth

Gretchen Miller

Food Allergy Mom

My 15-year-old daughter went out to eat with friends. She asked the cashier if the chicken salad contained nuts, and he said no. After eating a few bites of her chicken salad, my daughter's throat felt funny. She rushed back to the counter and was told by someone else that there were pecans in the mixture.

My daughter called her dad in a panic. Luckily, he was right around the corner. He took her straight to the ER. Upon arrival, the ER nurse took her back to an exam room. They gave my daughter a dose of epinephrine. Her throat was closing and she was white as a ghost. Her blood pressure then dropped so low that she almost fainted when she tried to stand up after saying she needed to go to the bathroom. She was given an IV with more medication to help combat the attack. She was in a complete state of panic and so were we, her parents. It was truly a "life-threatening" situation. She began vomiting in the ER exam room, which was obviously her body's way of trying to expel the allergen. She didn't improve enough with her symptoms after two hours in the ER, so the doctor decided to have her taken by ambulance to the nearest children's hospital.

As I drove behind the ambulance to get there, I just couldn't believe we had all gotten up that morning never dreaming that this would be what we were to face later in the day. It was all so surreal and terrifying. After spending the night in the hospital, her symptoms finally dissipated, and her body finally recovered. She was discharged the next day and ordered to take an oral steroid to avoid a relapse of symptoms.

I hope that by sharing this story it will help inform the public that for many people food allergies are truly life-threatening and need to always be taken seriously! 

Read more true stories of anaphylaxis. 

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