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Student Dies Days After Reaction To Sandwich
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STUDENT DIES DAYS AFTER 'REACTION' TO SANDWICH
09:00 - 29 April 2004
An Aberdeen student has died days after apparently suffering an allergic reaction to a sandwich. Amanda Mills, 19, began having breathing problems after biting into the sandwich and was taken to hospital after collapsing in the street. Doctors tried to save her, but she died five days later. The teenager was always very careful about what she ate as she knew she had allergies. But it is feared the sandwich she bit into might have contained a trace of nuts, bringing on a relatively rare condition known as anaphylactic shock. Speaking last night at their home in the city's Kingshill Avenue, in the Midstocket area, Amanda's parents said their daughter was an "angel" and that her death had left them devastated. They also praised a security guard and a passer-by who helped Amanda, when she collapsed near Aberdeen College, where she studied, last Wednesday lunchtime. "There was a security officer and someone in a white works van who gave Amanda assistance at the time, and we are truly grateful to them," said Mr Mills. Amanda was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary after collapsing in the Gallowgate, but lost her fight for life on Monday. A former pupil of Aberdeen Grammar School, Amanda had been studying for an HNC in social sciences at the college. She also worked part time as a front-door receptionist at Aberdeen's Nazereth House, which is run by nuns. Her mother said last night: "We have just come back from Amanda's work. "They said she was an angel, and that's what she was." At Nazareth House, Sister Superior Eileen said: "Amanda was a really lovely girl, you would never hear a bad word about her. She was so helpful. "There was not a dry eye in the house when we heard, as she was loved by everyone. "We heard it happened after she had a sandwich for lunch. "She was always very careful about what she ate because of allergies. It is a young life taken away." A statement from Aberdeen College said: "Our thoughts are very much with Amanda's family and friends at this saddest of times. "Amanda will be greatly missed by her fellow students and by the staff who had the privilege of teaching and supporting her during her time at the college." A colleague in Amanda's class said: "She was really popular and was well-spoken and pretty - it is really sad." A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman confirmed yesterday that a young female was picked up at 1.45pm last Wednesday near Aberdeen College. He said she had "breathing problems possibly caused by an allergic reaction" and was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Amanda's entry in her sixth-year yearbook said she was also known to friends as Mandy, Manda, Miranda and Buffy. It read: "With her blonde hair, blue eyes and 'shy' personality, Amanda looks the picture of innocence. "However, all her best pals know that first impressions can be deceiving. "From first year through to sixth, Amanda has always been up for a party, and she's usually the life and soul of it. "She's always been there to lend a sympathetic ear and would do anything for her friends. "Good luck Mandy". Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction, with only a handful of confirmed deaths each year. The whole body is affected, often within minutes of exposure but sometimes after hours. Peanut allergies and nut allergies are frequently severe and for that reason have received widespread publicity. Other causes of anaphylaxis include insect stings. The Anaphylaxis Campaign expressed its sorrow when told of Amanda's death. Anaphylaxis Campaign director David Reading said: "We are very shocked to hear about this. "Although this is shocking and scary, the message is to have a proper diagnosis, see your GP and go to an allergy clinic. "The risks can be minimised." The Anaphylaxis Campaign can be contacted for advice on its helpline, 01252 542029.