Newpaper report of man\'s death from peanut allergy

Posted on: Wed, 05/19/1999 - 9:35am
Kathryn's picture
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Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

I just read a report in our local newspaper about the death of a 31 year old man. He died after accidentally ingesting peanuts. There was a picture accompanying the report that showed his parents grieving as they left the church. As some of you will remember, I have a 4 year old peanut allergic son and a 37 year old peanut allergic brother and I am so worried about their continued survival. I know that we can only do our best but this man who carried an epi-pen died and it has affected me profoundly. Usually I can be much stronger but this report and the picture has depressed me terribly. Living with the knowledge that no matter what I do, I might not be able to always protect Troy is harder at some times than at others and today is one of the hard days. Thanks for listening.

Posted on: Wed, 05/19/1999 - 10:24am
dhumphries's picture
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Joined: 02/02/1999 - 09:00

Hi Kathryn,
I truly sympathize with you about the toll this allergy takes on your mental outlook at times. My husband and I attended his high school reunion and June, and was shocked to find out that the 40 year old husband of one of his good high school friends had recently died from an anyphylactic food allergy. This was after we had found out about our son having the anyphylactic pnt allergy, and thus this story really hit home. I have never broached this subject for fear of the answer, but I guess I should ask it now. Is there evidence that the older one gets, the more likely it is that a reaction will be fatal? It seems that most documented deaths are of older people. Thanks for any replies I can get on this subject.

Posted on: Thu, 05/20/1999 - 4:57am
Patti's picture
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Joined: 01/27/1999 - 09:00

I think it really hits home anytime you read about a death due to this allergy. But putting a face to it and seeing the anguish of the family has to be very hard. I think we all try to blot that picture out of our head. As far as age and the apparent number of deaths associated with it, I also wondered about that and have thought of two things. I think we have discussed them here. One - I think the more times you are exposed the worse your reaction gets. (thats where all the pressure comes in for me, I am so careful about not having her exposed either from peanuts or cross contamination that it is hard to live a normal life). My allergist equated this to filling up a bowl. The more you fill it up the worse it will be. Also we have talked about the immune system, and I believe as we get older the stress levels get higher. I think we all should learn to work on this, easier said than done with this allergy. I was reading the post about the man with panic attacks. My heart just goes out for him. I think as a parent I do the same thing. I never thought about an adult doing it to himself, but it seems natural.Anyway lets continue to pray for a cure and send our prayers to this family who indeed must be suffering.
Patti

Posted on: Sun, 05/23/1999 - 3:22am
Noreen's picture
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Joined: 01/24/1999 - 09:00

Kathryn, I'm wondering if you can post more details about the 31yo man who died from an accidental ingestion even though he carried an Epi-Pen. What food substance did he consume? Did he live alone? Had he a history of life-threatening reactions? It's best to learn from these tragedies with as much information as we can gather from the media and family.
I was thinking that it might be useful to build a memorial web site of people who die from this allergy. We could include photos, anecdotes and -- most importantly -- what could have been done to prevent the death from occuring. The memorial site could also serve as an important public education tool for underlining the seriousness of peanut allergies. Anytime a school administrator, peanut lover, or a disgruntled parent complains about the extra precautions we institute to protect our kids, we can refer them to the site.
Noreen

Posted on: Sun, 05/23/1999 - 8:27am
Chris PeanutAllergy Com's picture
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Joined: 04/25/2001 - 09:00

I have been contemplating having a memorial type page, contacting the families and letting them tell us about their loved ones and what we can learn from the tragedy. Let me know you opinions.
------------------
[email]"Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

Posted on: Sun, 05/23/1999 - 9:48am
Noreen's picture
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Joined: 01/24/1999 - 09:00

I think it would be an incredibly powerful political/education tool, Chris. I would suggest you include photos and anecdotes about the deceased -- nothing would sway our opponents over more than to stare face-to-face with a person who has died of an accidental ingestion and to read about what kind of person they were, and how tragic for their life to have been cut short. Multiply that by a hundred photos over a three year period and it would be quite persuasive.
Plus, it would help those who are living with peanut allergies and those who administer the allergy in young children to know what went wrong with their prevention and emergency plans.
I'd suggest you walk lightly when contacting the relatives of the deceased. For example, "What the hell was she doing eating in an Indian restaurant in the first place," might not go over so well. [img]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
If you need any help with the project, I'd be willing to work with you and others on putting together such a memorial site.
Noreen

Posted on: Mon, 05/24/1999 - 2:56am
Christine's picture
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Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

I think the memorial is also a good idea. Knowledge is certainly power. Last year, one of the mothers at my friend's child's elementary school died due to a peanut ingestion. She was in her early 30s and had two children. I tried so hard to find out exactly what happened but no one would talk about it and I never learned how it happened. I heard rumors that she had been to a restaurant earlier, then came home and ate some ice cream. She then laid on the couch for a nap and then apparently died. I'll never know if it was a local restaurant or the ice cream, or if any of this was true. A real disservice.
Christine

Posted on: Mon, 05/24/1999 - 8:58am
Noreen's picture
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Joined: 01/24/1999 - 09:00

From my limited research, I found out that the 31yo man who died was a well-known, Canadian, jazz musician. He was buying something from a sidewalk vendor (mistake #1) while on tour in Amersterdam (mistake #2 - be especially careful when consuming foods in foreign countries).
Noreen

Posted on: Mon, 05/24/1999 - 12:50pm
clara's picture
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Joined: 01/17/1999 - 09:00

Another Canadian Musician (29) died recently from possibly a pesto sauce at a restaurant he and his family were eating at. His family wanted this tragedy made public to remind everyone with allergies to carry their Epi-pens at all times. Barrett, wasn't carrying his epi-pen at the time. He had mild reactions in the past....I think news like this awakens the publics eyes to how serious this allergy can be. The restaurant's manager is very upset...Barrett did not inform the staff of his allergy.

Posted on: Tue, 05/25/1999 - 5:50am
Kathryn's picture
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Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

Hi, I want to say thank you to all of you who respondeded to my original post. Posting it was catharctic and I am feeling normal again after my depression last week. I think it would be useful to have a memorial page Chris. Again, thanks and take care.

Posted on: Sun, 06/13/1999 - 1:21pm
Redwood's picture
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Joined: 03/29/1999 - 09:00

Chris,
I think that a memorial page would be excellent!! It would create much more of an impact when you personalize the disease. When you can actually look into the eyes of anaphylaxis and see the innocent eyes of a 3 year old looking back. It's got to help get the message across and for those of us who have lived throught the tragedy we will realize that we are not alone.

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