Living in lockdown during spring 2020 was a surreal and tough time for many of us. For Georgia, seeing her three-year-old son Arthur struggle during two anaphylactic shocks was an agonising experience.
Little Arthur is allergic to banana, milk, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, avocado, sesame, legumes and seeds – but the severity of his allergies was not yet known to his parents, until one breakfast time…
The longest journey
Two spoonfuls of Weetabix one morning, accidentally given to Arthur with dairy instead of his special milk, instantly triggered a reaction. Arthur let out a silent scream as dad Dave injected the adrenaline auto-injector, which Georgia found difficult to watch. “To inflict more pain while they are struggling seemed so very cruel”, says Georgia. But within minutes, Arthur was almost back to normal and a trip in the ‘neenaw’ ambulance soon lifted his spirits.
A few months later, Georgia answered the phone to the news that Arthur had had a bad reaction at nursery and was ‘non-responsive’. She hung up the phone, got to the nursery as quickly as possible to find her boy half asleep, completely swollen, red from head to toe and with vomit all down him. This time, the adrenaline auto-injector didn’t seem to be responding like before.
The drive to the hospital was the longest journey for Georgia, and at times she contemplated jumping out of the car and running with Arthur in her arms as they sat in traffic. And surely it would be quicker to just keep going than pull over and call an ambulance. Just one more set of lights to pass…
Within seconds of arriving, the hospital staff whisked Arthur off and administered another adrenaline auto-injector. A nebuliser covered his little face. An IV drip hooked into his arm. As the hour passed, the swelling went down and Arthur started to perk up. A little smile from him soon followed and was just what Georgia needed.
The doctor said that Arthur could have died, and that they have had children who arrived in the same condition and had not left.
The haunting experience of Arthur’s second anaphylactic shock led Georgia to the Anaphylaxis Campaign. Georgia came away reassured and armed with training materials and clinical advice to share with the nursery.
Over the last few months, Georgia and the family have also explored many other resources and advice on the website, participated in a webinar with Professor George Du Toit, and benefited from the product allergy alerts. “These are excellent, and I am shocked every time I see a new product which has been mislabelled!” says Georgia.
“I will continue to keep myself updated with everything on the website, and use the training and guidance at each milestone in Arthur’s life; whether that’s ahead of his first day at primary school, or leaving for university! It’s my go to place for advice and support”.
A gift today would ensure that the Anaphylaxis Campaign can be there for another parent or carer, like Georgia, at every milestone of their child’s life and allergy journey.
An anxious Christmas
Every social gathering makes Georgia anxious, and Christmas time is no different. The scene in the family kitchen is one of organisation – prepping and doubling up on versions; one without dairy for Arthur and one with for the rest of the family.
While Arthur’s allergies are always top of mind, this Christmas will still be a time of magic and seasonal joy for the children – and eating, drinking and general merriment for Georgia and Dave!
A message from Georgia
“The Anaphylaxis Campaign is an excellent place to direct friends and family if they need more information about allergies, and the site provides a wealth of experience and expertise – I’ll definitely continue to rely on them for updates, advice, support and guidance on allergies. Thank you for supporting the Anaphylaxis Campaign.
This year, I ran my first half marathon for the Anaphylaxis Campaign and raised £2,000. As an ‘allergy mum’, to know that the money will go towards supporting families who live with life-threatening allergies makes me feel that I am doing something to give back to a wonderful community who are often undervalued and misunderstood.”