A Wakeup Call – Heather’s Story of Anaphylaxis

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Heather Braverman, age 19, shares her experience with an anaphylactic reaction and what she learned about not hesitating to use epinephrine, the first line treatment for anaphylaxis.

Heather was diagnosed with a nut allergy when she was just two years old, and avoided severe allergic reactions for 16 years. Then, when she was 18 she was eating dinner at a restaurant and started having symptoms. After taking an antihistamine, she went to the hospital, where her symptoms progressed and her throat began to close. At that point she was given a dose of epinephrine, which immediately alleviated her symptoms.

Dr. Scott Sicherer, pediatric allergist at the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute comments on how you shouldn’t wait until your throat is closing or you feel faint to use epinephrine, as the medicine needs time to circulate.

Heather learned from this experience that you must speak up for yourself and know exactly what to do in case of an allergic reaction. You don’t want to leave it up to assumptions; work with your doctor to develop an emergency plan and to understand different scenarios and symptoms so you feel comfortable responding.

This powerful video is important to share with people with food allergies, especially teenagers, who are at the highest risk for fatal food allergy reactions.

Learn more about anaphylaxis at http://www.foodallergy.org/anaphylaxis
Download an Emergency Care Plan at http://www.foodallergy.org/faap

Comments

aadkinsl says:

HOWD SHE GO SO LONG??? I'm 17 and ive dead ass had like 5-6 reaction's

S L says:

my daughter is allergic to so many foods,thickeners,soy,nuts and each week more and more. she's 33 and is so upset. has lost so much weight and is underweight. she pushes herself to work and supports herself even though she's sick and exhausted. I'm so worried about her.

Matt W says:

I have a very very similar story which happened to me whilst on board a celebrity cruise ship this summer I've never been so certain I was going to die in my life it was also my first experience of anaphylaxis In 17 years

Gordon Yule says:

I had my first reaction the other day when working out at sea. unknowingly ate chicken satay. realised straight away and alerted the crew. injected 2 epipens and symptoms were getting worse still. Whole body went tingley and my head was throbbing. Chest and airways getting tighter by the minute. was advised by medical services over the radio to take more shots of adrenaline. Lost track of what was happening next for a bit and was struggling a lot and didn't think I'd make it off the ship tbh. About an hour of having the reaction I peaked and the symptoms started to get better. I was sick and immediately felt better again. The helicopter them got to the ship and I got air lifted to hopsital. Really feel lucky to have survived it. only downside is now I'm not being issued with a medical so can't go back to work at sea and all my training was for nothing..

Kimber Lee says:

EPIPEN right away after known ingestion!!!

Fran and Lee says:

Yes I have about 3 epipens 1 at school 1 in my moms purse and 1 at home my allergy is not severe the only thing that happens is I throw up and my eyes swell and I am allergic to nuts as well ( not peanuts) but she should have said nothing with peanuts Bc peanuts aren't nurs

Ben Dell says:

How many epi pens have u gone through

Lumen Lumendrum says:

Oh… Cute girl!

Ellie McCarthy says:

My rule for epipen is if I have any symptom that could impair breathing (like lip swelling, even if it is still mild, or tingly tongue), or any three symptoms. So if I had hives, stomach cramps, and fatigue, I would still use it because of my three symptom rule

the.Superior spider says:

👎😷😪❌❎❌ peanuts

the.Superior spider says:

I had a reaction while I was a baby when I was in second grade when I was in 4th grade and I think about 4 times

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