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In Memory: Remembering those who've had fatal food reactions page 5

Posted: Jul 29th, 2008 at 10:25 am

There are too many deaths this month Smiley

An untimely tragedy

Trip to Cabo San Lucas takes a tragic turn

By Bill Highlander

Mom, Im not feeling well.

A comment often heard by mothers from their children, but on July 1, the complaint turned deadly.

Photo (left to right) Brian Hom, Kathy Hom, Brian Hom II, bottom left Brandon Hom and Steven Hom.
Brian Hom, II and his family had just arrived at Royal Club Solaris resort in Cabo San Lucas, checked into their room and gone to the buffet for dinner. The vacation was to celebrate Brians recent birthday and his graduation from Evergreen Valley High School. Everyone was looking forward to having fun.

After dinner, the family was strolling through the hotel lobby and Brian said his throat was sore. Within minutes, the 18-year-old collapsed to the floor, struggling for air and passed out. The hotel staff tried to help and emergency personnel quickly arrived to administer CPR. It didnt help and Brian succumbed to anaphylactic shock.

Brian had eaten a dessert containing traces of peanuts, a food to which he was allergic.

The family knew of the allergy and took precautions to avoid any foods that could start a reaction. Food labels in the U.S. require listing any peanuts or peanut products. But food in restaurants and particularly buffets are almost impossible to discern. And there was no indication that the dessert had peanuts or had been made with anything containing peanuts.

At international resorts, it is even more likely that information about food, ingredients and preparation will be lacking.

Brian also suffered from asthma, causing additional complications from the allergy. Asthma makes treatment more difficult. The reactions can range from hives, rash, tingling, drop in blood pressure, difficulty in breathing, unconsciousness and death.

About one percent of the U.S. population is allergic to peanuts, thats one in 200 Americans who have to be extremely careful about what they eat. Between 50 and 100 people die each year from a severe reaction. There are 15,000 emergency room visits every year.

In April 2006, it was widely reported that a Canadian teenager died after kissing her boyfriend who had earlier eaten a peanut butter sandwich. The coroner later disputed the cause of death, stating it was an asthma attack. But several cases of death have been reported as asthma brought on by an allergic reaction to peanuts.

A year later, in Cincinnati, a mother and daughter were shopping and stopped at the food court for lunch. The 13-year-old girl had a chicken wrap, a sandwich she had enjoyed many times. Within an hour and a half, as the shopping trip continued, the young girl went into anaphylactic shock and died. It was determined that the sandwich contained peanut protein.

The girls family has a Web site (http://www.foodallergyangel.com) to educate people about the dangers of the allergy and established the Emily Vonder Meulen Foundation as a memorial.

Brian Hom, Sr. also wants to educate the public and share the story about his sons untimely death. Many friends, teachers, coaches and neighbors attended the memorial service and understand the dangers of the peanut allergy, but Brian, Sr. would like for more people to be aware.

Brian Hom, II (inset, above) and his family were visiting the Royal Club Solaris resort in Cabo San Lucas (above).
Brian encourages everyone to have a simple test to determine if they have the allergy, to know the symptoms of a reaction, to realize the pervasiveness of peanuts in the food supply, to help protect their childrens friends by knowing if anyone has the allergy and to support efforts for restaurants to warn patrons if food contains peanuts or peanut products.

If a person does experience a severe reaction, an injection of epinephrine can save a life. Epi-Pen is one well-known brand that is available by prescription, but it can expire so it is important to keep it up-to-date.

Avoidance is the only sure protection. The Hom family remains vigilant, for a younger son also has the peanut allergy. Shortly after Brians death, the younger son had symptoms and an injection of epinephrine probably saved his life.
The Hom family is well known in Evergreen. The children attend Evergreen schools and the father is active as a volunteer youth coach at Chaboya and the East Valley YMCA. He was Volunteer of the Year for the East Valley YMCA in 2001.

Last Edited by JR Jul 29th, 2008 at 10:33 am


Thank you to Conference Sponsors Spokane FASN, Allerbling, Allergy Monkey, Coconut Bliss, Dey the makers of EpiPen, Bastyr Center, Medic Alert, Navan Foods and Microsoft Employee Giving Programs!!

adult son: severe allergies to milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, coconut, shellfish, mollusks. Eczema,

Posted: Jul 30th, 2008 at 11:16 am

Just devistating.

There are truely no words to express my sadness for this young man and his family. Smiley


Posted: Jul 31st, 2008 at 07:30 am

Stories like this just break my heart. Truly.


Mom to two boys:
DS #1 - Age 20, Superbad OAS
DS #2 - Age 17, PA, TNA, Soy, Sesame and Chick Pea

"Speak out against the madness." -- David Crosby

Posted: Aug 1st, 2008 at 04:05 pm

Four young people lost in July 2008. Heartbreaking.

Have a blessed day!

DS(17) Allergic to peanuts, cashews & soy and is a terrific trombone player
DD(24) Allergic to Bactrim, & iodine DD(27) NKA

Louisiana, USA

Posted: Aug 4th, 2008 at 08:13 pm

3 deaths in July. The saddest part...According to current FAAN newsletter, none of them had their epi pens with them. Truly heartbreaking.

Committee Member Hermes
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Einstein


Posted: Aug 6th, 2008 at 08:20 pm

Warning! Watching the accompanying video of mom speaking about it is heartbreaking. Smiley
Single cashew nut killed the perfect boy
by Mike Keegan
6/ 8/2008

THE heartbroken family of a "perfect" teenage boy who died after an allergic reaction to a nut have warned others to be on guard.

Christopher Gould, 14, ate a cashew nut while watching TV at his home in Helmshore Avenue, Moorside. Within minutes he was complaining of an itchy throat and struggling to speak. An ambulance was called and his mother gave him an anti-histamine tablet.

That failed to make a difference and the youngster was rushed to hospital, where doctors battled to save him as his parents and sister looked on anxiously.

Sadly, within minutes he was dead.

Speaking from their home, Christophers family said he had eaten cashew nuts before and had never had a reaction.

Mum Anne Marie, 44, a care assistant, said: "It happened so quickly. I was eating the nuts and asked him if he wanted one. He had one but then said his mouth and throat were itchy. I gave him a tablet and we called 999. He was panicking and wanted to walk to the ambulance. We went to the hospital and they did everything they could we were allowed in as they tried to save him. He was booked in and minutes later he was gone."

Fighting back tears, Mrs Gould added: "There are so many ifs and maybes. I gave him the nut and I cant forget that. Im supposed to be the one who looks out for him."

The teenager, a pupil at Our Ladys RC, Royton, was a big Oldham Athletic fan who his mum said "would do anything for anyone".

She added: "I know you hear people say this all the time but he really was perfect. He was an altar boy at church and a friend to all, young and old. He wanted to be a cardiothoracic surgeon and that was typical of him always wanting to help others. He was perfect his smile would light up a room."

Christopher died in the early hours of Friday, July 25, two days before the family were due to go to Scotland on holiday.

Dad Jim, 55, a teacher, said his sons death had left the family with "a huge hole".

He said: "I wouldnt wish this feeling on anyone." Chris also leaves behind a sister, Joanna, 23, and younger brother David, 12.

An inquest has been opened and adjourned.


Thank you to Conference Sponsors Spokane FASN, Allerbling, Allergy Monkey, Coconut Bliss, Dey the makers of EpiPen, Bastyr Center, Medic Alert, Navan Foods and Microsoft Employee Giving Programs!!

adult son: severe allergies to milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, coconut, shellfish, mollusks. Eczema,

Posted: Aug 6th, 2008 at 09:38 pm

Aug 4th, 2008 at 08:13 pm, Mfamom wrote:
3 deaths in July. The saddest part...According to current FAAN newsletter, none of them had their epi pens with them. Truly heartbreaking.

Actually four--now five. Smiley It was such a terribly sad month. Their faces keep flashing before me.

"Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic. They are potent forms of enchantment, rich with the power to hurt or heal."~Albus Dumbledore

Me: shellfish, chamomile, sesame and a few odds & ends
DS: peanuts

Posted: Aug 6th, 2008 at 09:47 pm

Too many lost much too soon.
Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley

Jana, how do you find these stories?

Midwest, USA

PA only


Posted: Aug 6th, 2008 at 10:42 pm

Aug 6th, 2008 at 09:47 pm, artlvr wrote:
Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley

Jana, how do you find these stories?

A few years ago when I was doing various searches in Google News I clicked on "create an e-mail alert for _______" I get alerts when "allergic reaction" "food allergies" "anaphylaxis" and other related topics appear in the news. Sometimes I get encouraging news this way but this month has sure been upsetting.

Emily Vonder Meulen's father has alerted me to some as well.

Last Edited by JR Aug 6th, 2008 at 10:44 pm


Thank you to Conference Sponsors Spokane FASN, Allerbling, Allergy Monkey, Coconut Bliss, Dey the makers of EpiPen, Bastyr Center, Medic Alert, Navan Foods and Microsoft Employee Giving Programs!!

adult son: severe allergies to milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, coconut, shellfish, mollusks. Eczema,

Posted: Nov 1st, 2008 at 08:07 am

Another food allergy death. I will include link and copy of text


Allergic reaction to burger killed father

A father collapsed and died after suffering an allergic reaction to a takeaway beefburger.

Mark Nicholson, 28, from Leicester Forest East, called 999 from his hotel room begging for help after his throat swelled up and he was unable to breathe.

He collapsed before telling the operator which room he was in, and by the time paramedics tracked him down, he was dead.

The self-employed glazier leaves partner, Emma Wilton, and a young daughter, Ellie.

An inquest heard Mr Nicholson had a long-standing allergy to peanuts, but had never suffered a serious reaction.

On the night of his death, he had been in Brighton to seal a business deal and went out to celebrate with friend, Andy Webster.

The pair finished the night by eating chilli burgers, before returning to the Ramada Jarvis hotel on the seafront.

Just minutes after heading back to his room in the early hours of August 1, Mr Nicholson raised the alarm.

A transcript of the 999 call was read out at the inquest at Brighton County Court.

Mr Nicholson told the operator he needed an EpiPen – a self-administered shot of adrenaline.

The operator asked which room he was in. Unsure, Mr Nicholson went to check the door – but collapsed before he got back to the phone.

Police, hotel workers and paramedics then desperately called phones and knocked on doors in the 123-room hotel to try to find Mr Nicholson.

Eventually, a hotel worker encountered an engaged tone, and the group discovered Mr Nicholson unconscious .

Paramedics were unable to revive him and Mr Nicholson was pronounced dead at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

Mr Nicholson's partner, Emma, has left a tribute to him on remembrance website Gone Too Soon.

It reads: "I never thought we would have something so tragic and unexpected to deal with at this time in our lives – it's so wrong.

"Thank you for being such a special person in our lives, taking care and looking after us. You have worked so hard and if only you hadn't been taken I know you would have made your dreams come true. I will give Ellie (daddy's little girl) all I can and give her lots of love, hugs and kisses from you."

Pathologist Dr Anthony Williams told the inquest he believed Mr Nicholson had suffered a reaction to an ingredient in the chilli burger which may have derived from peanuts.

He said Mr Nicholson's history of asthma could have been a contributing factor.

Coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley recorded a verdict of misadventure, saying Mr Nicholson's "sudden and tragic" death was because of "anaphylactic shock due to an allergic reaction to food".

She said: "This is not a man who stupidly disregarded warning signs. He behaved entirely sensibly and appropriately throughout the evening but suffered what was an unheralded reaction."


Posted: Nov 1st, 2008 at 09:22 am


Here's the link to his GoneTooSoon.org tribute...

Mark Nicholson
October 1979 - August 2008

Here the link again to the article...
Allergic reaction to burger killed father
Saturday, November 01, 2008, 09:30

Thank you Lostone for posting this. Very tragic. Smiley

Last Edited by artlvr Nov 1st, 2008 at 09:23 am

Midwest, USA

PA only


Posted: Nov 6th, 2008 at 10:48 am




Prosecutors said Thursday they are reviewing the case of an Elgin Mental Health Center patient who died months ago after two facility employees allegedly gave him a meal containing fish despite a severe fish allergy.

Morris Howard, 58, formerly of Chicago, died on June 20 after the employees gave him the meal, which investigators said sent him into anaphylactic shock. A coroner's jury on Wednesday ruled the death a reckless homicide.

Illinois State Police investigators earlier this week handed the case off to the Kane County State's Attorney's Office, and criminal charges against the employees could be announced in the coming days, according to State's Attorney John Barsanti.

"They (police) have gotten everything they're going to get on this thing," Barsanti said in a telephone interview Thursday. "Now it's up to us to make the decision."

He explained that the legal duties of caretakers were limited in the past, but Illinois legislators in recent years have "beefed up" such laws.

"I think that's what we see here -- the law trying to put definitions to this stuff that is fairly new in criminal law," Barsanti said.

Howard was transferred to EMHC in January from another psychiatric facility. He originally was institutionalized because of mental disorders caused by a gunshot wound to the head he suffered several years ago, investigators said.

Howard had been a banker and was pursuing a master's degree in business administration at Northwestern University before the head injury, a family member previously said.

Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold. ~~~ Maurice Setter

Posted: Nov 6th, 2008 at 11:31 am

How very tragic...first his head injury then the center's error.

Many prayers for these families,

Self: seafood, egg, nuts, sulfites, yellow dye, IV contrast

Posted: Nov 20th, 2008 at 06:24 am

Another untimely death. Here is the link and the text incase the link doesn't work


Killed by curry – a devoted dad
A FATHER died after eating a single mouthful of curry as he watched The X Factor with his family.

Angus Myers collapsed in front of his wife and 11-yearold son after suffering a suspected allergic reaction to a takeaway chicken tikka masala in the family home.

His wife, Marie, and son, Shaun, tried to revive him, but he was pronounced dead in hospital.

Last night, Mrs Myers said: “We’re more than devastated.

I feel like I’m constantly being tortured.”

Tragedy struck shortly after 9pm on Saturday, at the family home in High Street, Carrville, near Durham City.

And a double tragedy may have been narrowly avoided.

Four-year-old Ben, who also has a nut allergy, might have shared the curry had he not gone to bed earlier.

Mrs Myers said her husband had asked staff at the Indian takeaway restaurant, which is in the Durham area, whether the curry contained nuts and was told it did not.

She said: “He always asked if it’s got nuts in. I’m just pleased Ben was in bed or he might have had it as well.”

The 29-year-old student nurse said her husband of six years was a devoted and loving family man.

She said: “This shouldn’t have happened to a 32-yearold man with children, who loved life, his family and me.

“He was devoted. He was so loving. He said to me two days before: ‘You’ll never have a man who loves you more than me’. He was a very sociable person and he got on with everybody. He was always the soul of the party. He had a smile that lit up a room.

“He was the most caring man. And funny – that’s why I loved him, because he made me laugh.

“He would do anything for anybody. His kids and me were his life. All he wanted was for me and the kids to be proud of him and for us to be happy. That was his priority.

“He was a very good man. I don’t think he was disliked by anybody.”

A Newcastle United fan born in Chester-le-Street, Mr Myers was a mechanic and had just fulfilled his lifetime ambition of opening his own garage.

Durham 4 Wheel Drive, in Bowburn, recently celebrated its first year of trading.

On the day of his death, he had been shopping online for a surprise 30th birthday present for his wife.

Mrs Myers said: “I still don’t know what it is.

“He was going to make food but he’d cleaned the house so was tired.

“He’d put our youngest to bed, and he said: ‘We’ll just get a takeaway’. I suggested an Indian.

“We decided what to have and he rang and asked if they have got nuts in.

“They said no.

“It was delivered and we sat down to watch The X Factor results.

“Shaun was with us. As soon as it touches his mouth he knows if it’s got nuts in or not. He said: ‘That’s got nuts in’.”

Suddenly, Mr Myers was clinging to a kitchen chair.

His wife called an ambulance.

She said: “He was fitting. He went blue. I had to ask Shaun to try to get him off the chair, which was most traumatic for my son. We got him onto the floor and tried to revive him.

“After the paramedics arrived it seemed like forever, and we had to get out of the way because there were so many people in here.”

Mr Myers was taken to University Hospital of North Durham, in Durham City, but doctors were unable to save him.

Mrs Myers, originally from Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, said: “I went to say goodbye to him, while they stopped trying to resuscitate him.”

She said her husband had always had a nut allergy, but his most serious reaction previously had been to feel sick for a couple of hours. “Only three weeks ago he felt sick and said something must have had nuts in. That used to be the worst the allergy could be.”

The couple, who moved to Carrville from Bowburn about two-and-a-half years ago, live with their children, Ben, four, 12-year-old Gabrielle and 11- year-old Shaun.

Mr Myers has another son, ten-year-old Jonathan.

Gabrielle has Down’s Syndrome and autism and attends The Oaks special school, in Spennymoor. Shaun and Ben go to St Thomas More RC Primary School, in Durham.

Mr Myers’ funeral will be held at St Joseph’s RC Church, Gilesgate, on Tuesday, at 11.15am. Donations will be taken for Down’s Syndrome North-East.

An inquest into his death was opened and adjourned yesterday.


Posted: Nov 20th, 2008 at 06:51 am

Nov 20th, 2008 at 06:24 am, Lostone wrote:
She said her husband had always had a nut allergy, but his most serious reaction previously had been to feel sick for a couple of hours. “Only three weeks ago he felt sick and said something must have had nuts in. That used to be the worst the allergy could be.”

This seems to be the case so often. I have an acquaintance whose DS has "only has hives and vomiting" from pn, and they refuse to carry an epipen. I just look at that little lad and pray that the next exposure doesn't bring on a more serious reaction.

It's so tragic. Smiley I feel so very sorry for this man's family.

DS1 - 15 yo - PA, MA, EA, penicillin, asthma.
DS2 - 10 yo, NKA