Just because something negative happens often does not mean we should take it lightly especially when allergies are concerned. A person who knows they have an allergic reaction when they come in contact with something or consume certain types of foods should be extra wary of their health.
Ever since he was a young boy Meryl Gibbs’s son Oakley has had asthma and allergies towards nuts. At the age of 11, her child had accidentally consumed a piece of cake and did not realize that the cake contained nuts. The only visible reaction he had developed was a small rash and tiny bumps from his neck to his lips.
The boy’s mother who thought that it was not a big deal, applied an anti-allergy cream on the said area and left it at that
“I did not know what was happening. Oakley looked normal from the outside and he even played with his cousin who was over at the time with no signs of problems,” said the boy’s mother, Meryl Gibbs
He went ahead and showered hoping that he’d fell better but 15 minutes after his shower he began to complain that he had a terrible stomach ache and then he started to vomit. Meryl thought that he had come down with a bad case of food poisoning and eventually Oakley stopped vomiting. He looked like he was recovering and getting better.
“But that did not last for long. Soon he began vomiting again and this time we called for an ambulance. By the time the ambulance arrived his skin had turned blue, “said Meryl.
Oakley’s heart had stopped beating half an hour after he ate the cake.
To understand the cause of his untimely death, the Gibbs family opened a Charitable Fund for the dissemination of information on food allergies and the dangers it can pose if it is not taken seriously.
They call it Sneaker Red (“red shoes”) – in the memory of Oakley who loved red shoes and it showed as all his shoes were red
Meryl Gibbs hopes that a day be announced to raise awareness on food allergies and the dangers of not taking care of what you eat if you have and allergy.
“My amazing and talented boy was not supposed to die,” she said
Experts on food allergies find it difficult to say how often people can experience delayed reactions to the allergies they possess in the case they consume something they are allergic to, such as what had happened to Oakley. After all, before a person’s allergies become severe, there are usually allergic symptoms that show themselves first.
“Death is usually rare, but there is no guarantee that this will not happen in the future,” said Dr. Todd Green who is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh Medical.