Natalie Giorgi, 13-years old died Saturday in her father’s arms at Camp Sacramento after eating a bite of Rice Krispie treat that was iced with chocolate and peanut butter.
A family friend told the Sacramento Bee that Natalie Giorgi was diligent about her allergy, and spit out the treat right away after she tasted peanuts.
“She never put any dessert or anything that was questionable into her mouth without consulting someone,” said Augusta Brothers, the family friend.
Natalie went to find her mother to let her know that she tasted peanuts in the Rice Krispie treat. Natalie’s mother tasted the treat and also detected peanuts. She gave her a dose of Benadryl to offset the allergic reaction and monitored her. For a short time the girl seemed fine, but 20 minutes later she had trouble breathing.
Her father, a doctor, administered an EpiPen, which contains epinephrine, three times before she stopped breathing.
Paramedics arrived at the camp at 10:40 p.m. and performed CPR. She was taken by ambulance to Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe, where she was pronounced dead at 12:30 a.m. Saturday.
The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office said the cause of death was severe laryngeal edema which is swelling in the throat, as a result of a presumed allergic reaction.
Natalie’s parents, Louis and Joanna Giorgi, issued a statement in hopes their daughter’s death would focus attention on the dangers of food allergies.
“While our hearts are breaking over the tragic loss of our beautiful daughter Natalie, it is our hope that others can learn from this and realize that nut and food allergies are life-threatening,” the couple said in a statement. “Caution and care for those (afflicted) should always be supported and taken.”
Dr. Travis Miller has heard too many times tells CBS Sacramento, “Peanut allergies are actually three times more—increased threefold in the last decade, which is really striking,” he said. “I understand it was dark, so there was a mistake about what type of food she was eating.”
Linda Tucker, a city spokeswoman, said in an email to Sac Bee that “staff is not aware of a death of a camper ever (before) occurring in its 90 year-plus history.”
“Our thoughts are with the family,” the city statement added. “As the child is a minor and the case does involve a medical situation, we are limited in the information we can provide.”
About 3 million American children under the age of 18 had food allergies of some sort in 2007, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those numbers have only been on the rise. In the decade ending in 2007, the food allergies in that age group had risen 18 percent, the CDC said.
Natalie Giorgi died from Peanut Allergy
A 13-year-old with a peanut allergy died at a popular summer camp in Sacramento after taking a bite of a Rice Krispies treat containing peanuts.
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