Finding out what's at stake the hard way

He was such a happy, innocent, chubby little guy when he almost died. He was 2 1/2 and just starting to speak words we understood.


He loved music, and loved to dance. Ryan went downstairs with his dad and came up with a cookie he’d taken one bite of, and as soon as they walked in, I smelled the nuts. “That cookie has nuts. Did you ask?!?” I can remember the fear and the anger rising up through my suddenly tense body. We had literally just found out her was allergic to peanuts because he had broken out in terrible hives after eating a PBJ sandwich. That’s another guilt inducing story for another time though. Yes. It definitely had nuts. He just hadn’t thought. I wanted to kill my husband. I had no idea what to do or what was going to happen. Something deep inside of me said “Keep him awake. Don’t let him sleep”. So I listened. We had no idea what would happen.


He was happily playing, and it seemed ok… till it wasn’t. There was vomitting. Ok. vomit. We put him in the tub to clean him and he went ghostly white. Gray. He started to pass out. He was slipping away. My baby was having an anaphylactic reaction. My husband knew what to do. He grabbed the epipen we had just gotten a week earlier, and jammed it into that chubby little thigh. I don’t even really remember that moment. I remember being frozen and panicked. Boom. Ryan woke back up. We had 10-20 minutes to get him to a hospital. That’s how long the epipen was effective for.


“He had an anaphylactic reaction. He could have died. It will be worse and come on faster next time. “ Those were the words my husband heard over and over as they kept Ryan overnight in the hospital. I couldn’t bear to take him. I was angry, guilt ridden, and shattered. It was too much.


To have a child come so close to dying affects you so deeply, and never goes away. It’s a visceral reminder of what’s at stake.

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