Student Dies Days After Reaction To Sandwich

Posted on: Wed, 04/28/2004 - 9:28pm
momma2boys's picture
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

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09:00 - 29 April 2004

An Aberdeen student has died days after apparently suffering an allergic reaction to a sandwich. Amanda Mills, 19, began having breathing problems after biting into the sandwich and was taken to hospital after collapsing in the street. Doctors tried to save her, but she died five days later. The teenager was always very careful about what she ate as she knew she had allergies. But it is feared the sandwich she bit into might have contained a trace of nuts, bringing on a relatively rare condition known as anaphylactic shock. Speaking last night at their home in the city's Kingshill Avenue, in the Midstocket area, Amanda's parents said their daughter was an "angel" and that her death had left them devastated. They also praised a security guard and a passer-by who helped Amanda, when she collapsed near Aberdeen College, where she studied, last Wednesday lunchtime. "There was a security officer and someone in a white works van who gave Amanda assistance at the time, and we are truly grateful to them," said Mr Mills. Amanda was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary after collapsing in the Gallowgate, but lost her fight for life on Monday. A former pupil of Aberdeen Grammar School, Amanda had been studying for an HNC in social sciences at the college. She also worked part time as a front-door receptionist at Aberdeen's Nazereth House, which is run by nuns. Her mother said last night: "We have just come back from Amanda's work. "They said she was an angel, and that's what she was." At Nazareth House, Sister Superior Eileen said: "Amanda was a really lovely girl, you would never hear a bad word about her. She was so helpful. "There was not a dry eye in the house when we heard, as she was loved by everyone. "We heard it happened after she had a sandwich for lunch. "She was always very careful about what she ate because of allergies. It is a young life taken away." A statement from Aberdeen College said: "Our thoughts are very much with Amanda's family and friends at this saddest of times. "Amanda will be greatly missed by her fellow students and by the staff who had the privilege of teaching and supporting her during her time at the college." A colleague in Amanda's class said: "She was really popular and was well-spoken and pretty - it is really sad." A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman confirmed yesterday that a young female was picked up at 1.45pm last Wednesday near Aberdeen College. He said she had "breathing problems possibly caused by an allergic reaction" and was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Amanda's entry in her sixth-year yearbook said she was also known to friends as Mandy, Manda, Miranda and Buffy. It read: "With her blonde hair, blue eyes and 'shy' personality, Amanda looks the picture of innocence. "However, all her best pals know that first impressions can be deceiving. "From first year through to sixth, Amanda has always been up for a party, and she's usually the life and soul of it. "She's always been there to lend a sympathetic ear and would do anything for her friends. "Good luck Mandy". Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction, with only a handful of confirmed deaths each year. The whole body is affected, often within minutes of exposure but sometimes after hours. Peanut allergies and nut allergies are frequently severe and for that reason have received widespread publicity. Other causes of anaphylaxis include insect stings. The Anaphylaxis Campaign expressed its sorrow when told of Amanda's death. Anaphylaxis Campaign director David Reading said: "We are very shocked to hear about this. "Although this is shocking and scary, the message is to have a proper diagnosis, see your GP and go to an allergy clinic. "The risks can be minimised." The Anaphylaxis Campaign can be contacted for advice on its helpline, 01252 542029.

Posted on: Wed, 04/28/2004 - 11:06pm
katiee's picture
Joined: 05/09/2001 - 09:00

I am at a loss for words. How truly sad.

Posted on: Thu, 04/29/2004 - 12:20am
jtolpin's picture
Joined: 05/28/2003 - 09:00

Ugh. Its always hard to read these stories.
The story said, she was always careful with what she ate.
Did she carry an epi pen? Did the ambulance service that picked her up at 1:45? When did she eat her lunch?
What happenned the 5 days she was in the hospital?
Poor family...

Posted on: Thu, 04/29/2004 - 12:31am
Kim M's picture
Joined: 06/09/2001 - 09:00

This is just heartbreaking. Like Jason, I always want more details to see if there was some way it could have been prevented. Although, if she had, and used, her epipen and still died, I'm not sure that's something I want to know.
My prayers go out to her family.

Posted on: Thu, 04/29/2004 - 1:04am
robinlp's picture
Joined: 05/14/2002 - 09:00

This is heartbreaking. I wish the people who would report these stories would give a little more info. Let people know that this can be prevented w/ an sounds like she didn't have an they weren't specific about what she was eating. Did she buy the sandwich, did someone else prepare it for her? So many unanswered questions that could educate people and maybe save 1 other life out there.

Posted on: Thu, 04/29/2004 - 2:22am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

This is so sad. [img][/img]
All of the deaths that we have recently read about here on have been either teenagers or children who are nearing their teenage years.
I also wish that more information was posted with regard to Epi-pen use, etc. just so we could be informed, but, at the end of the day, this beautiful young woman is still not with us.
If anyone finds out any information whatsoever about where to send a sympathy card, could you let me know?
I know it was katiee that posted last time when we could send cards. What a sad thing. [img][/img]
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 04/29/2004 - 5:27am
SeaHint's picture
Joined: 04/28/2004 - 09:00

Alternative to Mainstream ... I applaud your thoughts about a sympathy card, but I doubt that any of us will find out an address for a card. [img][/img]
It is so sad that people who are allergic to nuts, legumes, etc. cannot feel safe when purchasing foods ... I know it isn't realistic to have total segregation in production facilties and restaurants ... but we have to (yes, HAVE TO) take risks occasionally, or be trapped in a tiny insular world.
Over the years, I have increased the list of things which I will risk eating ... still a risk, but - as an adult - I have to make choices and not be overly "worried", or I'd go mad. I have been called "paranoid" by my family, but THEY don't have the allergy!!
Be safe, all!
[This message has been edited by SeaHint (edited April 29, 2004).]
[This message has been edited by SeaHint (edited April 29, 2004).]

Posted on: Thu, 04/29/2004 - 6:41am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

SeaHint, welcome! [img][/img]
Actually, katiee did post an address for a young woman who died within the last year in Ontario, Canada on this board and also, when Nathan Walters died, I remember having the address to send a card to for his family as well. So, it is possible.
Not a *great* thing to have to do, but I know when katiee posted the last address, I group e-mailed it out to all of my PA contacts so that her parents and family would know that their child had not died forgotten.
You touched on a point that I was trying to make under Living with PA to-day about healthy eating and how PA *could* be a positive thing when it comes to that.
If you think about it, when I was a kid (which is quite some time ago), our family didn't go to the restaurant very often. Not because they couldn't afford to go, but simply because life wasn't as fast. We did have take-out of fish and chips on Friday night (and we're not even Catholic) and we did have Chinese Food or Kentucky Fried Chicken once a month or so.
My whole point, and there is nothing that is going to change this, it's a whole societal thing, is that life was a lot slower then. Even when we did have Chinese Food or Kentucky Fried Chicken, Chrikey, there wasn't a drive through.
Of course, in the 1960's, it was really just the beginning of food becoming pre-packaged. I remember when Kraft came out with lasagna in a box. First time I ever tried lasagna. Or their pizza in a box.
It's just sad that when food allergies are on the rise, our world has also gotten to the point where we're spinning around so fast that even for a SAHM (I mean myself, no one else) to make a meal from scratch every day is something that is not happening.
40 years ago, you wouldn't have been considered to be living in an insular world if you weren't eating out all the time or regularly.
Sorry, I should actually have placed this in the other thread, might put it there as well.
I'll see if I can do anything to find an address. I'm betting someone else would have better luck than me.
And again, welcome! [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 04/29/2004 - 4:09pm
helenmc's picture
Joined: 05/01/2002 - 09:00

Such a sad stoy, that chills us all to the bone.
I too was looking for more detail, but I think on reflection that was so I could see if things (like an Epi, or checking the food was safe before eating it) had been neglected (in order to ease y fears). [And Im sure I haven't worded that very well]
Consequently I decided that the details don't mater - a young girl is dead, from the very thing she probably dealt with successfully every over day of her life.
Our heartfelt sympathy and thoughts go to her family.
Geoff & Helen

Posted on: Thu, 04/29/2004 - 11:18pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Geoff and Helen, I think you worded it just fine. [img][/img] Even if we had more information that might assuage our fears, then it almost goes to a "blame the victim" scenario which I don't care for. Truth be told, and it has been posted on this board before, people die even when an Epi-pen has been used. [img][/img]
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Fri, 04/30/2004 - 5:16am
momma2boys's picture
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

Cindy, I emailed the newspaper and asked if there is an address or if they would be willing to forward sympathy cards. I also asked if there will be any follow up articles.
I will let you all know if I get a response.


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