Friend credited for saving young mom in allergic crisis

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Peachtree City resident Brittany Bloom and 3-year-old Koah. Photo/Submitted.
Peachtree City resident Brittany Bloom and 3-year-old Koah. Photo/Submitted.

Quick action by the friend of a Peachtree City woman, who experienced anaphylactic shock after eating an egg roll while returning from a recent trip to Gwinnett County, may have saved her life.

Brittany Bloom, 21, who recently moved back to Peachtree City, said it was on Dec. 21 that she and her 3-year-old son, Koah, along with a friend visited the Gwinnett County Humane Society. They subsequently stopped to grab a bite to eat at a convenience store and returned to the car, Bloom explained, adding that she bought an egg roll and ate it in the car as they drove away.

“Less than two minutes later my body began tingling and was hot, so I rolled down the window,” Bloom said. “About three minutes after that, I got very hot, and found hives all over my legs.”

With the phones in the vehicle out of charge and with no charger available, Bloom’s friend quickly pulled up to a store and ran in for charger.

“He just gave the money to the clerk, then ran back to the car,” Bloom explained. “In that time, the hives had spread all over my body. I plugged the phone in the charger and took a photo of my leg and sent it to my mom. She said to get some Benadryl.”

Meantime, said Bloom, while driving they became stuck in Atlanta traffic, and all she wanted to do was to get home. She thought the reaction was diminishing, but that thought was short-lived, and she quickly found it difficult to breathe.

Her friend pulled into a gas station and quickly secured the Benadryl, gave it to Bloom and again began driving.

“We left the station. We didn’t know where a hospital was. We soon saw an ambulance and pulled up to it. I literally couldn’t breathe. The paramedics checked me out, then we followed them to a nearby hospital. I still couldn’t breathe. I was gasping and coughing. Everything was a blur,” Bloom recalled. “But at the hospital they began to treat me and tried to diagnose what had happened.”

For Bloom, experiencing anaphylactic shock was puzzling since she has no known allergies.

Bloom, with medication in hand, left the hospital after being there more than seven hours. She returned to Peachtree City, where her mom and her friend stayed up with her during the night.

Bloom went to an area hospital two days later after having another reaction. She was later treated and released. Today, her symptoms continue to diminish, and she is awaiting a diagnosis.

Tests being conducted locally will hopefully soon determine why she had the reaction, one that could have been even more serious without the quick-thinking help of a friend.

Anaphylaxis is a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. It can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to, such as peanuts or bee stings. Anaphylaxis requires an injection of epinephrine and a follow-up trip to an emergency room. If epinephrine is not available, the person must to go to an emergency room immediately. If anaphylaxis isn’t treated right away, it can be fatal, according to the Mayo Clinic.