4-year-old Paxten Summerlin has food allergies so severe, there are just a few foods that he can safely eat. According to theRocky Mountain Telegram,Paxten’s parents say that he’s had severe allergic reactions since being born, to foods ranging from cashews to milk to apricots, landing in the emergency room more than a dozen times.
When he was just a few hours old, Paxten already was experiencing allergic reactions to baby formula. At first, his parents thought he had a cold, but as he got older, he began having respiratory problems and breaking out in hives after eating. “He’s allergic to beef, pork, chicken, milk, eggs, potatoes, green peas, watermelon, apricots, peanuts and tree nuts,” said his mother. “I can remember four or five months later when the doctor suggested trying milk again. Five minutes after I had given him his bottle, he was throwing up across the living room.”
His parents have trouble finding anything on grocery store shelves that is safe for Paxten to eat. They must read the packages of every food bought, and even then there’s no guarantee that a new ingredient is safe for Paxten. His parents worry constantly; Paxten’s mother says “When we go to a friend’s house, I’m constantly stalking him. When I’m at work, I stay on pins and needles because for so long, every phone call I received was about Pax going to the emergency room.”
Now, his parents are raising the funds needed to buy a highly trained dog that they hope will prevent future hospital visits. The pet will follow Paxten everywhere. Allergy alert service dogs can ‘sniff out’ food allergens, alerting Paxten’s family to the presence of allergens. “That dog will be able to sniff it, and if there is something in there, it will know it. We can’t do that just by looking at Pax’s food,” Paxten’s mother said.