“She saved my life,” said Charish Nelson from Jefferson County, AL. “She’s my superhero. To me, she went beyond her job and most people don’t do that for anybody.”
Nelson was reunited with pharmacist Emily Eddy yesterday, hours after her release from the hospital for the second time. She couldn’t wait to thank her in person.
Last Friday, Nelson was having lunch when she suffered the telltale signs of an allergic reaction.
“I noticed that I started swelling up after eating half of my meal,” she explained. “I knew I needed an epi [epinephrine auto-injector] which usually always saves my life. We took one epipen and gave it to me but noticed that it didn’t work and I didn’t have anymore.”
She described driving across the street to the Pinson CVS to pick up another auto-injector when she started going into anaphylactic shock.
Anaphylaxis is a serious, life-threatening reaction to a food, drug, insect venom, or environmental substance. Epinephrine is the only treatment that can halt and reverse the progression of anaphylaxis, but it must be administered promptly and be of a sufficient dose.
Nelson made it to the drive-through.
“We could not get it [the auto-injector] open at the window at all,” said Charish. “We tried really hard. Emily saw me in distress, jumped the counter, ran out the door, got in the car with me and administered the second dose of epi.”
“I’m just really happy that I could be there to help,” said Eddy. “I mean, what are the odds that we’re sitting there giving you — literally buying epipens.”
Nelson says she suffers from an autoimmune condition after catching COVID twice and lost the use of her leg after suffering three comas. She claims she’s been resuscitated four separate times.
Despite her setbacks, she still has a positive outlook.
“The way I see it, as long as you got life and you wake up every day and you’ve got air in your lungs, you’ve got something to live for,’ she said.
We are thrilled to report a tragedy averted. Ms Nelson is alive thanks to the quick thinking and action of Ms Eddy, who indeed went above and beyond her pharmacist job description to help another person in serious distress. [We wish we could find a photo of Emily Eddy’s face to give her the proper recognition she deserves.]
Looking back on the ordeal, this is the perfect illustration of why allergic individuals must always carry two epinephrine auto-injectors, as the first dose may not be sufficient to halt the progression of anaphylaxis.
Don’t leave your lifeline at home. Take two epinephrine auto-injectors along everywhere, every time and be sure to administer the first as soon as you suspect anaphylaxis and call emergency services. According to the Cleveland Clinic, if the first dose doesn’t help symptoms resolve within 5-15 minutes, administer the second.