Wednesday, March 23, 2011

High School Freshman in Coma

A 14 year old, high school freshman girl is in a coma after going into anaphylactic shock. The coma is a result of delayed CPR and an extended period of time without oxygen flowing to her brain. There are plans later this week for her to undergo surgery so that a feeding tube can be inserted.

Apparently, she was hanging out with some friends after school and they were eating Kellogg's Crunchy Nut cereal for a snack. The words "peanut" or "nutty" appear about 20 times on the cereal box. She did know the severity of her allergy. There is no mention of an epinephrine pen anywhere in the article. Her dad mentions that Benadryl had worked on past minor allergic episodes to MSG and preservatives.  Here's the link if you'd like to read the full story and see the Fox News video clip interviewing the girls father.

I really don't know how to comment. It's a very tragic tale that brings up more questions than answers.  I can say this though.  It's a perfect example of one of the main reasons that my husband and I decided to pursue the peanut clinical trial at Duke, and why we're putting Abigail as well as our family through repeated 290 mile round trips to the Duke Clinical Research Unit, multiple blood and skin tests and a daily regiment of drops for 3 years.  We were very concerned of what would happen when our very strong-willed, opinionated daughter reached the pre-teen and teenage years and was no longer under the constant supervision of either ourselves or another adult.  My husband agrees.  Ironically, when I told him about this girl in Phoenix and the tragedy, his first comment was, "that's why we are in the clinical trial."  What a blessing this trial is for our family, and we pray that the results bless many in return.

A mom wrote on a food allergy message board that she trains all of her teenage daughter's close friends on the signs of an allergic reaction and the administration of an EpiPen.  Prior to letting her daughter go anywhere with her friends, she makes sure that they are all aware of where the EpiPen is and asks that they make sure it doesn't get left behind in the car.  What a great tip.

In the meantime, we need to keep this young girl and her family in our prayers.  I can't imagine what they must be going through or how much they are suffering.


Lisa said...

Yes, this is such a sad story. I truly pray for her to make a full recovery. So sad for the family and I am praying so hard that this research is going to lead to a real treatment so families don't have to deal with this.

Anonymous said...

Lucky for you that you and your family have access to a clinical trial while this family suffers , and suffers badly. The family is looking for a miracle when the rest of us know their is no such thing. tragedies like this can be avoided. Good for you for thinking ahead. No one ever thinks their child will be faced with a tragic loss of life.. Those that are vigilant in regard to their loved ones health can rest a little easier.

I pray for this 14 year old. She is my olest friends daughter. No one should have to suffer like thisd. Agony , pure agony.

Mom with a Mission said...

Anonymous, thank you so much for posting your comment. Our family does realize how incredibly blessed we are to have this opportunity. We pray that the results will benefit many.

Our thoughts and prayers are with this family and their young daughter, and for you, who has to administer comfort to your friend.