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This is the story of a mother and her 13 year old daughter, both living with severe allergies.
Sarah tells us how the constant risk of anaphylactic shock can affect daily life and about the mindset of a family strongly challenged by this.
Being MedicAlert members both herself and her daughter Iris gives their family peace of mind that, in case of a severe allergic reaction, people will know what’s wrong and what caused it, whilst medical staff will have instant access to their medical records, allowing them to immediately receive the correct treatment.
Q: Why do you and your daughter need MedicAlert?
“My daughter is severely allergic to all nuts and also has oral allergy syndrome. She is thirteen years old and we’ve known about her allergy since she was three.
I myself also suffer with a severe pollen allergy, oral allergy syndrome and allergic rhinitis. My allergies only appeared and got diagnosed in my early forties. A while ago I had a severe reaction in the park where I work. I couldn’t communicate what was wrong."
Q: How did you find out about MedicAlert?
"MedicAlert was recommended to us recently by my daughter’s school and also by our allergy consultants. I have ordered a silver bracelet. My MedicAlert bracelet will give me peace of mind that people around me will know what’s wrong and medical staff will have instant access to my medical records. I will then receive the treatment I need right away.”
Q: How does severe allergy impact on a young adult’s life?
“My daughter is wanting to gain her independence and is keen to travel, she’ll soon be off on her first school trip abroad without us, her family. She has chosen a MedicAlert watch, as she wanted something discreet. This gives us peace of mind that, if she has a reaction, medical staff will have instant access to her medical information and emergency management plan. She will then get the right treatment straight away. Suffering with anaphylaxis means treatment needs to be fast.”
Q: Tell us more about you as a family.
“As a family we’ve had to change our mindset about food. It’s difficult to eat out in particular. We tend to eat for necessity rather than for pleasure. Our activities are not based around food, we enjoy swimming for example. I had to be very careful when my daughter was young, she was often left out at school and not invited for tea or to parties. Although we made a handful of extremely good friends who would always include her. As a family we always have to be on high alert around food and this has caused much anxiety for us and me in particular as a mum. If we go on holiday we self-cater, as there’s just too much anxiety surrounding food and eating out. We always make sure we are within easy reach of a major hospital when we’re away. When abroad we meticulously translate and assess ingredients of every item of food before my daughter can eat. It’s very time consuming, and exhausting. I’m quite hyper vigilant where our allergies are concerned. When we fly I request early boarding and wipe down seats, belts and trays. On a positive note because of our allergies we are good at cooking from scratch, we’re resourceful and compassionate towards others. We’ve had really good support from allergy communities online.
“MedicAlert is internationally recognised, which is why I didn't hesitate to choose it.”
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