The food allergy community has been wracked by yet another child taken by anaphylaxis. The news of Emerson Kate Cole’s hospitalization came from her dad via Facebook on Tuesday:
Facebook friends and family.
Please pray hard for my daughter Emerson, she had an allergic reaction at school today and she’s in horrible shape. I’ve been told there’s a slight chance she will make it.
I am literally dying inside. I can’t lose her
Then yesterday came the news of her passing:
My heart has left my body, My sweet baby daughter passed this morning at 9:58
I wanted to share the news with everyone that has reached out and shown our families love and support.
Her Mom and I have decided to donate her organs to others in need.
I know there’s a family out there praying for a miracle just like we all have been. I never could imagine not getting that miracle but Emerson’s sacrifice will give another dad, mom, and families sitting in helplessness and heartache a chance. She is my hero.
There is nothing anyone can say or do to make this hurt and pain go away. Im hurting so bad that I can’t feel anything, my mind is gone and overall numb. I apologize if I don’t respond or I’m short. I do appreciate everyone sharing and getting the prayers out. The overwhelming support has made things easier.
Emerson Kate Cole I’ll NEVER STOP LOVING YOU. Daddy…
There’s little else we know about Emerson other than a report from SNBC13 that described her this way:
Those who were closest to her attested to the fact that she had a delightfully one-of-a-kind sense of humor. She was exceptional in every way imaginable, which made her stand out from other individuals like no one else. She kept a cheerful demeanor at all times and was the source of smiles and laughter for everyone who was in close proximity to her at any one time. She was a kind young girl who, as a result of her witty nature, managed to win the hearts of everyone who had the opportunity to have a conversation with her.
Our hearts go out to the Cole family for their loss which is unimaginable. We send them our deepest condolences and hope they are able to derive some measure of solace from the knowledge that the entire community mourns with them. She is giving her life to save others and we will not forget her.
In memory of Emerson and the countless others we have lost over the years, it is imperative that we all take a moment to understand the dangers of food allergies and how to do our best to prevent future tragedies.
Anaphylaxis is deadly; it causes blood pressure to plummet, airways to constrict and close, and the heart to beat erratically and stop. A trace amount of an allergen can be enough to trigger anaphylaxis and mild reactions in the past do not preclude anaphylaxis. If you have an allergy, you are at risk, period.
Only one drug can halt and reverse the progression of anaphylaxis: epinephrine. But as miraculous as the drug is, it can’t help if it’s not on hand when the unthinkable happens or it’s administered too late.
If you suspect you or your child has a food allergy, see an allergist.
If are diagnosed with a food allergy, you should be prescribed epinephrine.
If you have been prescribed epinephrine, you should have two auto-injectors immediately on hand at all times and an emergency action plan in place.
If you suspect anaphylaxis, don’t wait… administer your auto-injector and call for help.
If your child is allergic, make sure all caretakers including family, teachers, school nurses, cafeteria monitors, babysitters, after-school activity supervisors, etc are trained to identify the signs of anaphylaxis, where to access epinephrine, and how to properly administer an auto-injector. They should be provided with the child’s emergency action plan and have it explained to them in detail.
One way we can all commemorate those we have lost is to do our very best to prevent others from befalling the same fate. Let’s do it for Emerson and the many that have come before her.