Adeline’s story… A families journey through a sudden allergic reaction


Have you ever wondered if it might be important to know what to do in a medical emergency, like an allergic reaction?

Adeline was 6 months old, and her mum gave her scrambled eggs at home for her dinner. She enjoyed the first bite or two. Then out of nowhere she developed big hives on her arms and face and anywhere the egg had touched. 

She then started getting very distressed, crying and coughing. Her mum picked her up out of the highchair, wiped her down and she immediately started vomiting. 

Laura, Adeline’s mum immediately rang the ambulance and whilst they were deciding whether to send one or not, Adeline became dazed and quiet in between her vomiting.

The ambulance was on way.

By the time Ambulance arrived she had stopped vomiting, she was checked over and sent back inside.

The ambulance left.

Laura instinctively knew, as only a parent can, that she wasn’t right but breastfed her and she immediately started vomiting again, another 4 times. So they drove her to the Children’s Hospital and were kept for observation. 

They left hours later with referral to allergist. 

Like most parents of children with allergies, they had no idea what they were facing until it happened very suddenly right in front of them. 

From an Allergy Nurse Specialist point of view, Adeline’s symptoms were extremely concerning to me and do sound like symptoms of anaphylaxis. The body releases its natural adrenaline and the reaction can be dealt with just by the bodies natural defences, but we don’t know when this is not enough and an Epipen is needed. 

The specific symptoms that she displayed, for example, when she became dazed and quiet, and the coughing are definite red flags as anaphylaxis with a food allergy. 

After failing a peanut oral food challenge, it became clear that Adeline had a very real egg and peanut allergy.

Adeline got referred to the Children’s Clinic in Bondi Junction, Sydney and saw Dr Rohit Saldanah. 

Adeline’s parents booked a child CPR, first aid and allergy class with us in the home, so that they would feel more confident in an emergency.

We were able to go through the Epipen training and the anaphylaxis action plan with them too. Now Laura, Adeline’s mum has done a class, she has a direct line to us here at The Nest now for any questions or concerns they might have in the future. 

Over at The Nest, we are passionate about educating parents in our classes. Watching parents learn these life saving skills is such a privilege, you can see them literally gaining more and more confidence in learning what to do in a life threatening situation like an allergic reaction. 

As the founder of The Nest, Kids CPR & Allergy and a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Allergy at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, I am always available to discuss common allergy triggers, how common allergenic foods can be introduced and when to introduce them and what to do if your child or someone you know has an allergic reaction.