Teen Suffers severe allergic reaction-Taken off life support

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The death of a 13-year-old Edmonton girl from a severe allergic reaction two days after Christmas is a tragic reminder of how quickly allergies can kill, says an injury prevention advocate.

An allergic reaction is "a true medical emergency. Seconds count," said Dr. Louis Francescutti, an emergency room doctor in Edmonton.

"Sometimes there's not much anyone can do, unless they get to medical care right away. So don't drive them to the hospital yourself. It's a true 911 call."

Chantelle Yambao, a student at Father Michael Troy Junior High School, had lived with a peanut allergy virtually since birth, her aunt Julieta Yambao told the Sun yesterday.

On Dec. 23, the teen ate a sweet treat that triggered a severe allergic reaction. Four days later, Chantelle's heartbroken family made the decision to remove her from life- support in hospital, said Julieta.

"The doctors said her brain was not working any more and her heart was not working any- more."

Chantelle's parents, her extended family and her many friends are utterly devastated by the loss of the pretty teen, said Julieta.

"They are crying and crying because they lost their only daughter. She was their angel."

A spokesman for Edmonton Catholic Schools couldn't say yesterday whether any memorial service is planned for Chantelle after students return to school from Christmas holidays next week.

Francescutti wasn't familiar with Chantelle's case. But he called for greater public awareness about the signs and symptoms of allergic reactions.

"It usually feels like an instant cold coming on," he said. Victims' noses start to run, their airways start to close up and their faces may start to balloon. They may also experience a shortness of breath.

"It's something that's got to be taken very seriously because people can actually die from this. If people know they have these allergies they should wear a MedicAlert bracelet and keep several EpiPens around," said Francescutti.

EpiPens deliver an instant shot of adrenaline to combat the anaphylactic shock that results when severe allergies are triggered.

Allergies have varying degrees of severity, but peanut allergies are usually the worst, said Francescutti.

"I'm very saddened that a girl has had to lose her life like this."

Chantelle's parents were too distraught to speak with the Sun yesterday.

According to the non-profit group Anaphylaxis Canada, about 2% of Canadians are living with a potentially life-threatening allergy.

The group claims the incidence of severe allergies has increased dramatically in the last decade.

On Jan 3, 2006

I can't believe we are reading another story like this- this should not be happening! I am wondering if the Epi pen was used- it never talks about "what happened"

I am saddened to read this and heartbroken for the family- this is not right!

On Jan 3, 2006

I wonder if "sweet treat" two days before Christmas means a cookie from a plate of Christmas cookies....

I wish we had all of the information. What did she eat, did they use her epi pen, did they have an epi pen?

I hate to use something like this as a learning tool but there it is, potentially.

When my son sees this he is going to ask those questions first off.

I am truly sorry that something as ridiculous as a peanut can end a child's life.


On Jan 3, 2006

This did not even make the news here in Ottawa. How sad that another child has died. I too wish we had more details, it leaves alot of unanswered questions.


On Jan 3, 2006

I'm so very sorry for this family [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] What an agonizing decision they had to make.

Since allergies are on the rise, I wonder if that means deaths will also rise? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] Meg

On Jan 3, 2006

Terribly, terribly sad. Another light went out. So awful.

On Jan 3, 2006

I can't believe I'm reading yet another story like this. When will it end?

Her poor, poor family.


On Jan 3, 2006

I read this earlier to-day. Even now, I can't respond *properly*. Just how very tragic and how sad for her family. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Jan 4, 2006

Sorry, I received this yesterday, so the radio shows will be off (might be something on their websites).

Dear Registrant:

We are sad to advise you of the recent death of a 13-year-old Edmonton girl from an allergic reaction. Click here for today's story in the Calgary Sun: [url="http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Alberta/2006/01/03/1376891-sun.html"]http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Alberta/2006/01/03/1376891-sun.html[/url]

There will also be three interviews today:

Radio interview on CHQR "Afternoons with Wayne Nelson" today between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm (Calgary) or 5:00 pm (EST). Go to this link and click on "Listen Live" on the left: [url="http://www.am770chqr.com/station/show_midday.cfm"]http://www.am770chqr.com/station/show_midday.cfm[/url]

Interview on Shaw Cable Channel 10 News at 4:00 pm (Alberta)

Interview on City TV Edmonton News at 6:00 pm (Alberta)

For your information,

Anaphylaxis Canada

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Jan 4, 2006

Here is her life story as it appeared in the Edmonton Journal.


On Jan 4, 2006

I cried after reading her story. I made an entry in the obituary guestbook. Maybe some others here at pa.com may want to do the same. It's hard knowing what to write, but maybe if the family knows we're here for them, they'll be comforted a little by that fact.

On Jul 12, 2006

This is so tragic. Avoiding foods with peanuts isn't enough! How is one suppose to know what is in every single thing? We must do something to raise awareness get more public help. Friends, families, neighbors, etc. must all know how deadly this is. Let's find a way to support vaccine research. Until the vaccine is found, we will continue to hear stories like this and live in fear. Let's all write to our local governments to help fund vaccine research. Let's also get Oprah involved. She is a powerful source of media who can create a stir in a positive way. Everyone... email Oprah and urge her to do a segment on deadly food allergies.

On Jul 13, 2006

This story is so sad. It is frightening because it could have been any of our children and reality hits as to how swiftly this allergy can take a life.

When i think back on the stories we've heard about people having reactions and those who have died, i can't help but be surprised when it comes to the comfort zone of the individuals and their parents.

Think about the American Girl in SC who ate an egg roll from a Mall Food Court, or this girl who ate a cookie off a tray, Sabrina who began eating lunch at her school cafeteria, a recent poster whose child ate a macadamia nut cookie at a family gathering (by accident).

Every one of those situations breaks the rules or guidelines my husband and I have set for our son.

Many of these individuals also did not have their EPI pens on their person.

How are we supposed to know what is in everything? We may not, but that means we don't allow our children to take risks and eat food that doesn't have a label, off a tray of random cookies or at a Mall Food Court.

It is our responsibility as parents to follow and establish sensible and strict guidelines for our children to make the chances of accidental exposure as minimal as possible.

We need to learn from these stories and avoid the same mistakes for our children.