For allergy parents like myself it is difficult to hear about your worst nightmare coming true. To learn that this young girl and her parents had managed to keep Natalie safe for 13 years, then a bite into a favorite treat changed their lives forever, changed our lives forever.
This was too close to home. Every death due to a food allergy hits too close to home.
Food allergy parents spend their days keeping their children safe from all these things plus whatever they are allergic to weather it be peanuts, bee stings or mustard seeds. We never rest, we don’t get to stop worrying, we always have to be at the top of our game. The thoughts of not breathing, administering injections, ER, life support, and fatality are always in the back of our minds. When the phone rings at noon and you know your child is at lunch you heart stops until you see that it’s not the school calling. And if it is the school calling your world stops, hoping you don’t hear the nurses or principals voice at the other end.
Natalie and her family were camping with friends. Something they had been doing for years. I am sure they didn’t expect for one moment that there would be food at the camp ground that could hurt their child. Over a year later I can watch the interview of Natalie’s parents and although I have never lost a child to anaphylaxis, I can feel their pain, I have lived it over and over in my nightmares. I can live with the nightmares as long as I don’t have to live without my child.
If you have not watched the video I recommend taking the time right now to watch. As an allergy parent you will be so grateful for the bravery it took Natalie’s Mom and Dad to talk about Natalie’s death. If you are not a food allergy parent it will help you gain a better understanding of what life as an allergy parent is like.