A concerned mother has released confronting images of her son in hospital as a warning to parents about just how severe food allergies can be.
The seven-year-old boy, known only as Nate, was resting after wrapping up a day of Christmas fun with his family in Tasmania.
His mum initially put his exhaustion down to a big day but before long his condition began to deteriorate and signs of anaphylaxis started to show.
“Within seconds he reported his neck felt funny and he felt a bit sick, he was swallowing excess saliva,” his mother wrote online.
The family knew Nate was allergic to all egg products – they didn’t know he was also allergic to shellfish. They both knew straight away that it was likely a result of the prawns.
“That sinking feeling sets in. Knowing he hasn’t had any egg and no possibility of it, he and I quickly think it’s the prawn.”
She said within an hour “things went south”. She administered an EpiPen before two ambulance crews arrived and rushed Nate to the emergency department at Launceston General Hospital.
“He was critical shortly after arriving, it was scary for all of us, he was a very sick little boy (the worst we have encountered),” she added.
Nate’s mother said he was expected to make a full recovery thanks to the brilliant work of the registered nurses and doctors at the hospital.
She said she knows it could have been much worse and has pleaded with parents to know what anaphylaxis symptoms look like.
“I want to encourage people to make themselves informed about what the signs are of a severe food allergy and anaphylaxis … it is a medical emergency, it does require hospitalisation and can result in death,” she reiterated.
“Anaphylaxis hits when you don’t expect it and it’s not on your radar, it can take seconds, minutes or an hour to unfold, know your stuff and don’t muck around umming and arring, fast action saves lives.”