Being allergic to peanuts can be life-threatening. Having a peanut allergy is a reaction that occurs when your body mistakenly identifies peanuts as a harmful substance. When you eat food containing peanuts, your immune system overreacts and can a life-threatening response.
Cameron Groezinger-Fitzpatrick, 19, a college freshman, died from eating half a cookie that was made out of peanut oil. Knowing since he was eight years old that he was allergic to peanuts, he would stay away from anything containing peanuts.
Life was going good for the 19-year old. He was studying international business major with plans to study abroad in Australia.
Spring break had just begun for Cameron Groezinger-Fitzpatrick and he had only been home for two hours in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on a visit from Rhode Island where he attended Bryant University.
He and his friend were out driving and bought cookies along the way. Groezinger- Fitzpatrick’s friend ate one first and told him he didn’t taste any hint of peanut.
“He said, Ah, the hell with it, I’m sure it’s fine,” his friend recalled Groezinger- Fitzpatrick as saying, his mother told ABC News.
The teen came home within minutes, it was about 6:30 in the evening, and he was turning black and blue, his mother recalled. “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,” he had said. Since he hadn’t unpacked yet, his mom couldn’t find his Epi-Pen. Thankfully, she had one in her cupboard but it had expired two months earlier. First responders told her over the phone that she shouldn’t use it.
A fire chief who lives next door came over with an Epi-Pen and administered it to the boy. Once they arrived at the hospital, a team of 15 tried to perform CPR for two-hours, but were unsuccessful. At 9 p.m., Cameron Groezinger-Fitzpatrick was declared dead.
At least three million American children suffer from a food or digestive allergy, and the problem is growing, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Between 1997 and 2007, the figure rose 18 percent.
An allergic response to peanuts usually occurs within minutes after exposure, and symptoms range from mild to severe. Peanut allergy signs and symptoms can include:
- Skin reactions, such as hives, redness or swelling
- Itching or tingling in or around the mouth and throat
- Digestive problems, such as diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea or vomiting
- Tightening of the throat
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
- Runny nose
A life-threatening peanut allergic reaction called Anaphylaxis show signs and symptoms that can include all of the above, plus:
- Constriction of airways
- Swelling of your throat that makes it difficult to breathe
- A severe drop in blood pressure (shock)
- Rapid pulse
- Dizziness, lightheadedness or loss of consciousness
College Freshman With Peanut Allergy Dies After Eating a Cookie
Cameron Groezinger-Fitzpatrick, 19, a college freshman who suffered from a severe nut allergy, died last Friday after eating a cookie that contained peanut oil. His friend had sworn it didn’t.
“We were all so shocked, it came out of nowhere,” Fitzpatrick told ABCNews.com. “For 19 years, he had been knock-on-wood safe.”
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