Another tragic loss to Peanut Allergy

13 year old girl dies after ingesting Peanut Butter treat.

I have copied an article below on the tragedy or you can watch the video here:

The Story:  

It was supposed to be the last day of a family vacation at a popular summer camp, but it ended in tragedy for one Sacramento-area family when a loved one had a fatal allergic reaction.  Relatives say 13-year-old Natalie Giorgi died from a severe allergic reaction to peanut butter while she was attending Camp Sacramento off Highway 50 in El Dorado County.
Now, the family says it really wants to get the message out about how dangerous and deadly food allergies can be.
Giorgi was very careful about what she ate and always made sure her food did not have nuts, according to family and friends.  But she had unknowingly eaten a Rice Krispies-type snack made with peanut butter.  On Friday night, the final night of camp, there was entertainment and refreshments. A dessert tray was put out in a dark area of the camp.
Giorgi reached for a treat and took a bite out of it. She knew something wasn't right, spit it out and told her mother, who also tasted the treat.  They later realized it contained peanut butter.

Natalie felt fine for about 20 minutes, but then began vomiting, had trouble breathing and went into cardiac arrest.

3 epinephrine pens were used but they could not help save the girl, according to a family friend.
Giorgi was taken to the hospital by ambulance where she was pronounced dead.  Family and friends are coming to terms with Giorgi's sudden death.
"She took every care. She knew the situation, that's (connected to) the allergy she had. And they were really on it all the time," said Pastor Michael Kiernan of Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Carmichael.  A special vigil was held at the church for Giorgi Sunday evening.   Some say they'll remember her smile and laughter. Others will remember how much she loved to draw and how much she loved her friends.  Her family said Giorgi wanted to become a neonatologist, to care for premature babies like her and her twin sister.
Meanwhile, family members extended their gratitude to the paramedics, firefighters and everyone who tried to help save Natalie.
They offered the following written statement:
"While our hearts are breaking over the tragic loss of our beautiful daughter Natalie, it is our hope that others can learn from this and realize that nut and food allergies are life threatening. Caution and care for those inflicted should always be supported and taken."
An allergist said food allergies and nut allergies have tripled in the past decade. He says more people need to understand the dangers of food allergies and that they can sometimes be fatal.
By Suzanne Phan,

My Thoughts:

I am so saddened by the news of the 13 year old dying at camp - it is exhausting trying to be strong and keep a cool head when other parents in my community make comments like "that mom needs to lighten up" or a nurse who tells the other parents my daughter isn't at risk when their children pack her allergens for lunch at school- I try to live a normal life and not be afraid but then you read a story like this and are reminded there is no margin for error - we must keep our daughter safe and avoid her allergens. Heartbreaking.

The take-aways from this for me are:

  • NEVER eat food that you haven't prepared and brought yourself (you know the old saying "Dance with the one who brought you" ?  Well I apply that to social situations when dealing with food allergies -only eat the stuff you brought! 
  • Administer epinephrine IMMEDIATELY upon accidental ingestion of a known allergen -do not wait for symptoms.
  • Research other medications to have on hand?  There have been a lot of comments in regards to this article and I have been told that other families carry more than epinephrine but this has never been recommended or offered to my family.  I intend to research the alternatives and will report back to you on what I find.
  • EDUCATE FOR EMPATHY -some of the comments that have been posted in response to this article show a lack of empathy -very saddening comments such as "Why should I deprive my grandchild of peanut butter when she loves it?" etc.  We need to continue to share these stories so that the non-allergic public understands how deadly food allergies can be.

What do you think? 


  1. I am a retired school nurse. I cannot begin to tell you how often schools get orders to administer antihistamine before epinephrine. Sometimes the orders will say, if reaction progresses, administer epi-pen and call 911. I truly believe that all children with a diagnosed food allergy that could result in anaphylaxis should have the epi administered any time ingestion is confirmed. Immediate transport to a medical facility is crucial. Antihistamines are NOT appropriate treatment for anaphylaxis and WILL NOT stop it from occurring. ALL parents should insist on appropriate treatment for possible anaphylaxis, even if that means epi was administered and child transported un-necessarily. Please do not ask the school to administer antihistamines and wait.... schools are not equipped to treat anaphylaxis.

  2. I am 58 years old and I have a peanut allergy as well. I am always so careful when I go out to eat asking if they use peanut products. I have never had issues. I usually never ate homemade products when younger.

    I did have a unexpected scare one afternoon/evening at friends BBQ. See they had a parrot that loved people. When he was placed on my shoulder the owner could not figure out why it flu off of me right away. It wasn't until I went to go to the restroom an I noticed my throat closing up. Then a red line going down my neck. I used my Epi pen and it did work four men. I asked the owner if the parrot as eating peanuts. The owner said OMG it was peeling them then eating therm. Meaning the oils from the peanuts obviously were on the parrots claws. Which got into my pores and caused a reaction.

    So, BEWARE if you have a peanut allergy.


You're awesome! Thanks for sharing your comment!