Natalie Giorgi was a 13-year-old girl with red hair and a love of life. Everything about her life was perfect, except for her allergy to peanuts.
Her worst reactions had never been life-threatening, but her parents, one of whom is a doctor, were at the camp, along with her two sisters and brother.
What happened was something that could happen to anyone with a peanut allergy. In the dim light, the wrong treat was eaten. Natalie knew right away, on her first bite, that it had peanuts in it and spit it out. She then took a Benadryl and told her parents. They kept watch, but everything seemed fine.
Then, suddenly, she vomited and began having trouble breathing. Her father immediately gave her an injection from an EpiPen. After a few minutes, as she got worse, he gave her another. Then another. To no avail.
When paramedics arrived, they administered CPR all the way to the hospital. She was pronounced dead on arrival from severe laryngeal edema. Her throat had swelled shut.
The tragedy, says the girl’s parents, should remind everyone how serious peanut and other food allergies can be. They hope that their daughter’s death reminds people of that.