A Cold Almost Killed My Daughter

December 19, 2014 started out as a normal day. My sons, 5 and 3 at the time, got up shortly after my husband left for work. I fed them and cuddled up with my coffee. My daughter wasn’t feeling well so it wasn’t a surprise that she slept in. What I wasn’t expecting was her wheezing and hives all over her body. I have her benadryl and bathed her, worried something in her room was causing a reaction. When the hives got worse I administered epinephrine and called 9-1-1.

The ambulance transferred her while I waited for my mother to pick up the boys and I. At the hospital the paramedics were waiting with Arianna. They had done a breathing treatment in the ambulance and started an IV. They did another breathing treatment and IV steroids. We were released 2.5 hours later. At hour number four, her hives and wheezing returned. I contacted the emergency room who advised to administer epinephrine and ambulance transfer to hospital. This time I rode in the ambulance. When we got to the ER we were advised that she would be admitted. Less than an hour later her hives returned. They administered a third dose of epinephrine and put her on a heart monitor. They were saying if her heart rate bottomed out she would have to go to the ICU. Not what you want to hear six days before Christmas!

Arianna handled the third epinephrine fine and we were transferred to her room for the night. She was released the next evening. The next week at her allergist’s office was the first time I’d heard it. Viral induced anaphylaxis. Because apparently I don’t have enough to worry about with her severe eczema, asthma, and life threatening allergies.

People with high IgE levels can react anaphylactically to viral infections. She had a cold. A cold almost killed my child. Just thinking of it makes me tear up. Most of the year she’s a happy, active little girl. She plays soccer, she’s an American Heritage Girl, she participates in church activities, she runs around the playground with her friends. But every cold and flu season I live on edge worried she’s going to get sick, and that sickness has a chance of causing a life threatening reaction.
— Anonymous

I can't TELL YOU how happy I am that you shared this story! I never realized until now that I need to be more careful than others when it comes to getting a cold or virus. I'm blown away and rather disturbed... After reading your daughter's story, I did a little research into elevated IgE levels and eczema and allergies are definitely on the list of things that cause IgE levels to rise. SIGH. And as stated on the U.S. National Library of Medicine's website: "Respiratory virus infections can trigger exacerbations of asthma and may also contribute to allergic sensitization to aeroallergens and the development of asthma. Conversely, atopy may predispose to more severe virus-induced airway disease."

FOr those of you who don't know, atopy is a term commonly associated with eczema. Atopic is one of the various types of eczema (these are the rest). I'm relieved to hear that your daughter survived this experience... what a nightmare! I can only imagine how scared you must have been and what an eye opening experience it was for both of you. Going to the ER twice in one night... ugh, that's terrifyingly rough. You had to be SO relieved when she was finally released! And bravo to you for jumping in with the bendaryl right away and administering the epinephrine!

THANK YOU once agin for sharing this story. YOU ROCK! This is SO very important for people with allergies and eczema to know!