[personal profile] minxybaby
I read this news article last week and it really touched me. I think everyone should read this and smile. It will give your day a boost. :) (This is local news.)

Three year old saves brother's life


Oh, nuts. They sure can cause you trouble if you’re allergic to them.

Brandi Pople knows all about the allergic reaction that children can have to peanuts.

On May 24, her 20-month-old, son Ryan, who is deathly allergic to peanuts, went into anaphylactic shock. His heart stopped and he was not breathing.

“I froze when I couldn’t get a pulse,” says Pople. “Then my three-year-old son, Alexander, grabbed his brother’s EpiPen and gave it to him in the thigh as his dad had taught him and screamed for his grandma to call 911.”

Ryan is alive today because of the quick thinking youngster. For his actions he recently received a lifesaving award from St. John’s Ambulance.

“He is also supposed to meet with the mayor in the next little while to tell him how he saved a life,” adds Pople.

Alex says he feels like “a superhero just like Superman,” and he took it all in stride. “It was not that hard to do,” says Alex. “I did what daddy showed me and counted to 10 after giving Ryan his EpiPen.”

He also tells his brother, “I love you and I saved your life because we are best friends.”

For mom the experience was a little different.

“I was so embarrassed at first. It wasn’t until in the hospital when I was even able to say what had actually happened. After speaking to several medical professionals, I have learned it is not that uncommon to freeze under that sort of pressure,” Pople says.

After she called 911, they asked if the child was breathing or had a pulse.

“I checked and when I could not find one I started to freeze up, knowing it was anaphylactic shock. I screamed to my mom and was thinking about getting the EpiPen, but in the brief time I was panic stricken and frozen,” she says. “Alex had grabbed the life-saving device out of his brother’s book bag and gave it to the unresponsive toddler.

As Ryan began to show signs of life again, Alex was reassured his mom by saying “It’s OK mommy, Ryan’s waking up.”

By this time everyone had regained their composure and Pople was able to take the phone and update the emergency workers as to the toddler’s condition.

“When the ambulance arrived I could barely speak, I knew my son was alive but couldn’t really comprehend what had just happened,” she says.

“It wasn’t until after telling family and friends and receiving re-training on the use of EpiPens from Ryan’s allergist that I began to realize how big of an achievement this was for Alex, and how even though I was ashamed of my actions I was more proud of the actions of my little man.”

Ryan’s allergy is called anaphylaxis to peanuts and as a result he is not allowed to eat peanuts and other nuts that grow on trees, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, and cashews, legumes, peas or soy products.

“It is very hard because these items or forms of (oils, proteins etc.) are in almost all pre-packaged foods,” Pople explains. “We read and re-read packages every time we buy something and eating out is almost impossible.”

Due to the severity of the allergy, Ryan will most likely never out grow it.

According to the Canadian Medical Association Journal and Canadian Food Inspection Agency websites, when someone has a food allergy, his or her body sort of misfires. Instead of treating a nut or peanut like any old food, the body reacts as if the nut or peanut is harmful. In an attempt to protect the body, the immune system produces antibodies (special chemicals designed to fight infections) against that food.

A person with nut or peanut allergies could have a mild reaction — or it could be more severe, even life threatening. Signs could appear right away or a few hours after the person eats it.

The most severe form of an allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. Symptoms can include breathing difficulties, a drop in blood pressure or shock, which may result in loss of consciousness and even death.

This is an allergy that is becoming more and more common these days.

For the Poples, it has changed the way they live.

“It has made us appreciate our kids and each other more since almost losing Ryan. We think of what we have and not what we wish we had,” says Pople.

“Amber (their youngest) is too young to have come into contact with any peanut product but as she grows we will have to be super vigilant about watching her reaction to new foods as we introduce each.”

Their allergist has advised them not to send Ryan to a day care type facility if possible until he is old enough to understand his condition and take ownership for it.

It is not only food Ryan must be cautious of, because many sunscreens, cosmetics and body lotions also contain ingredients that are detrimental to him. “We have to watch each place he goes to ensure he doesn’t come into contact with someone wearing one of these items,” Pople says.

“We cannot go to friends and family’s homes easily anymore, they have to do a peanut-free cleaning and sanitize all toys/objects Ryan may touch.”

“Halloween is now a thing of the past for our kids and birthday parties are not a possibility.”

The family tries to have the children’s friends and relatives over to their place regularly and make life as normal as possible for them, but Ryan’s safety has to take precedence.

“Alex is our little hero. But we still want him to be a regular kid and not feel pressured to handle situations that should not be his responsibility,” Pople adds.

“He has always been a gifted little boy and sometimes it is hard to remember he is only 3 years old.”

Date: 2008-08-05 11:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aussieteddie.livejournal.com
That you so much for my gift *hugs*

Date: 2008-08-06 01:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] minxy-baby.livejournal.com
You're welcome, hun. *hugs*

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