Awareness usually comes in the form of tragedy and the effort to make change is fueled by heartbreak. This article however, does the unimaginable.
It was a beautiful Saturday and 6 year old Heyab was enjoying the afternoon at his church’s potluck. With all the choices potlucks bring, Heyab set his eyes on what appeared to be a delicious cookie. He quickly grabbed the cookie and took a bite. The taste of peanut butter filled his mouth. Knowing that he was allergic to peanuts, Heyab quickly spit the cookie out. His mother was with him and made him rinse his mouth several times. All seemed to be fine but shortly afterwards Heyab began to vomit. His throat was beginning to feel tight and he was becoming short of breath. Heyab’s symptoms were worsening rapidly and he was beginning to loose consciousness.
911 was called and when the paramedics arrived Heyab was experiencing anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction. The paramedics immediately began resuscitative actions. Heyab was rushed to the emergency room where Dr. Dan Nadler continued to resuscitate him. Thanks to the quick actions of the Emergency Medical Service and Dr. Nadler, by the time I arrived to the ER I was greeted with one of the most beautiful smiles in the world. Heyab’s save is a blessing for us all. He had been given another chance to grace the world with that gorgeous smile.
Heyab’s mother informed me during our interview that Heyab had only minor reactions to peanut butter in the past. This was the first time he had ever experienced anaphylaxis. His mom also stated that she did not have epinephrine to give Heyab during his reaction but thanks to Dr. Nadler’s prescription, she and Heyab will be able to carry epinephrine with them at all times. Mom understands that it should be given immediately if Heyab should ever experience another severe reaction.
Be a strong voice and help us spread awareness on food allergies through inspiration. Heyab was a great save. Unfortunately, there are many who die from severe allergic reactions. Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency department – that is more than 200,000 emergency department visits per year (Food Allergy Research & Education). By helping us spread awareness through inspiration, children like Heyab can learn to prevent emergent allergic reactions and are able to go on to live long healthy and stay Fabulous.
~ Tolya L. Thompson