Mom Shares a Terrifying Account After Witnessing Her Boy's First Allergic Reaction

Sleeping boy
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Parents of kids with allergies always try to be prepared. Depending on what it is that could cause their little one's throat to close, eyes to swell, stomach to react, or skin to break out, they are always aware of the environment around them and the ingredients their kiddos are consuming. Yet there is still typically one time that these parents are caught completely off guard: the moment their child has his or her first serious allergic reaction. After learning from this terrifying instance with her own boy, one mom is hoping to prepare other unsuspecting parents for what can happen during that heart-stopping first moment.

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Back in 2016, when Sophie Cachia was pregnant with her second child, she was getting ready to have dinner with her toddler. It was just going to be her and her son Bobby that night because her husband was at work, so she planned to keep the meal simple: ravioli with a jar of premade sauce she could grab from the refrigerator.

As she poured the pumpkin and walnut sauce over Bobby's pasta, Sophie hesitated. "I thought to myself, 'Mmmm walnuts? Has Bobby had walnuts before?' But I quickly brushed it off because at nearly 2 years of age, Bobby had just about tried every food and had no allergies," she wrote for WattleHealth.

Boy
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So Sophie went ahead and served dinner. The mom-of-two behind the Young Mummy blog admits that then everything started happening faster than she could realize. When Bobby went to take his first bite of dinner, the toddler missed his mouth and the sauce landed on his arm. "I grabbed a cloth and said, 'You silly billy!' before noticing how red his arm was. 'YIKES! How hot did I make that sauce?’" she wrote. "I was absolutely positive I had tested it and it was OK."

As Sophie cleaned Bobby up, she was beating herself up for being "the worst mom ever" for letting her son burn himself. At the same time, Bobby managed to grab a big spoonful of just the sauce and swallowed it this time. "The next bit I can only explain as a zombie plague and it only took seconds," she wrote. "His mouth started to bubble and mini-hives appeared before I even had time to say CRAP. In a time of panic you don't always think logically."

Sophie's first instinct was to call her mom for advice, but before Grandma even answered the phone, she noticed the hives growing across Bobby's body. "He started to scratch like a dog and cough," she wrote, so at that point Sophie sent an SOS text message and got her husband to come running home from work. 

Siblings taking a bath
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"The panic in these situations is so high that we just went, 'JUMP IN THE CAR!' because together we thought we could get there quicker. In hindsight, this was a TERRIBLE move," Sophie admits. "In those 10 seconds of grabbing my bag, with Bobby under my arm, the most horrific thoughts started going through my head. I'm going to kill my son."

They immediately hit traffic and the panic sunk in. "I started to cry hysterical tears and squeal because I was regretting not calling the damn ambulance," she wrote. "That regret was very overwhelming and drowning my thoughts."

Then Bobby started coughing, vomiting, and wheezing in the back seat. "I knew my son was struggling to breathe and all I kept thinking was how much his reaction had escalated in ten minutes," she wrote. 

While she Instructed her husband to get him out of the car seat so he wouldn't choke, the overwhelming guilt hit her. "As the mum who had allowed him to eat this food, I couldn't turn around. I was cowardly," she admits. "I was a maniac. I was screaming at the top of my lungs for cars to move or for the lights to change, even contemplating getting out and running to the hospital (again, my logic in this situation was not great). Jaryd told me to calm down but as my baby was in the back seat choking from a food allergy that I knew was all my fault, calming down wasn't really an option."

Mom and boy
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Then Sophie's greatest fear started to come true. "The choking, vomiting, and crying turned to utter silence. Bobby had gone limp," she wrote. "This is when I vomited on myself driving and let out a scream that I didn't even know was inside of me. I was a desperate mum who had made a bad decision. 'This is it,' I thought. 'I've killed my boy.'"

It was only another minute before she pulled up to the emergency room, but Sophie warns that the silence of a child, no matter the length of time, is enough to scar a parent for life. "It’s a really bizarre feeling when your kids are in hospital ... To stand there with vomit all over you, both yours and your son's, tears streaming down your face and watching a team of staff assist your baby boy and knowing that it's all YOUR fault?" she wrote. "It's something I would not wish upon my worst enemy."

When Bobby was released from the hospital, he met with a pediatrician and allergy specialist who diagnosed him as anaphylactic to both walnuts and pecans. "We have learned that with anaphylaxis to nuts the reactions can get worse," she wrote. "That whole scenario I've just recounted would have all happened in no more than 15-20 minutes. If he is to come across walnuts again the reaction will be greater. Perhaps quicker. Perhaps fatal."

Now whenever they leave the house, Sophie and her family always carry an EpiPen, and they also gave one to his day-care, even though it's a nut-free center. "Luckily for us, we walked out of the hospital that time with a healthy boy and two educated parents," she wrote. "My baby boy. You are my first love. You'll always hold such a special place in my heart. Mumma is so sorry for doing that to you."

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