I dragged my feet on reading the recent Allergic Living Magazine’s eNewsletter. I’m biased as part of the Allergic Living team, but this was that rare moment, where I acted like a child avoiding something unpleasant. I knew an article in the eNews Report would break my heart and cause me pause to look harshly at my food allergy parenting style. I usually gobble down the eNewsletter like they are a smooth chocolate. Not this one.
The story I had trouble reading was, “Simon Katz’s Friends on a Food Allergy Tragedy: What We Wished We’d Known”. You might recall reading about Katz’s heart breaking food allergic death that took place on September 21, 2015, which was prompted by him consuming a s’more containing a Reese’s Cup candy at a high school bonfire. His friends were not fully aware/educated of his food allergy and offered him food containing his allergen. Once his reaction started, they were concerned, but did not understand the urgent need to tell an adult or to call for emergency help. Unfortunately, his life-saving epinephrine auto-injector was not with him. By the time he received his rescue medication, it was too late.
From a parenting viewpoint, I encourage you to read, “Simon Katz’s Friends on a Food Allergy Tragedy: What We Wished We’d Known”, as the lessons from Katz’s friends are so profound and palpable. These young people are heroes as far as I am concerned. They are educating strangers that gives them hero status in my book.
As a parent, it is was evident to me as I read this article, what skill and food allergy tools I need both of my teens have mastered. I can’t thank Katz’s friends enough for their strength in sharing their experience that brought them so much heart break and pain. They are truly spectacular teens to have enough concern for others to discuss a tragic situation so that we all can learn and save lives. I am very positive their sharing will have a long lasting impact.
I am in awe of Allergic Living Magazine and Nicole Smith for taking on these tasks that drop our hearts into our stomachs while leaving us feeling vulnerable and full of emotion so strong that we are speechless. I am grateful for their compassion for the rest of us as they work hard to tell the difficult stories and offer life altering lessons.