Every mother’s worst nightmare is the possibility of seeing her child at the brink of death. For Terri Schreiber, mother of eight-year-old Sophia, her nightmare became a reality when Sophia was three and ingested a single cashew and went into anaphylactic shock. Since Sophia was weeks old, she began exhibiting symptoms, which later were diagnosed as food and environment allergies. In her first three years, Sophia was allergic to simple foods such as milk and eggs. She also developed environmental allergies to grass, trees, weeds, and furry animals. Life for a severely allergic person requires attention, medication, and ongoing training of care providers.
When Sophia turned three, it was determined they could reintroduce previous allergens to her diet such as tree nuts. After Sophia ate one cashew, Terri watched in utter horror as her daughter’s face and torso turned bright red, her lovely blue eyes rolled back into her head, and her toddler began vomiting violently while experiencing an anaphylactic shock reaction to the cashew. Terri called 911, and was instructed to immediately push an EpiPen® into her daughter’s leg. Terri’s quick action and the EpiPen® saved Sophia’s life that night, but the experience would not be forgotten.
Every time little Sophia would go to school, family’s houses, a play date, or a field trip, Terri lived with the fear that an accidental ingestion of a food Sophia was severely allergic to could recur. Obviously, Terri could not follow Sophia around each and every day. Instead, Terri learned about the MedicAlert Foundation. For the last five years, Terri has protected Sophia by requiring Sophia to wear a MedicAlert Medical ID bracelet.
“To know that with a phone call a medical professional can convey as much information as I would about my daughter’s medical needs reduces my stress. MedicAlert has given me more freedom. Knowing Sophia wears the emblem and the MedicAlert team has all the necessary information to help in an emergency helps me breathe and sleep easier.”
At eight-years-old, Sophia enjoys reading, writing, gymnastics, horseback riding and riding her bike. She is exceptionally bright and exhibits maturity well beyond her eight years.
Without the help of our members and donors, children like Sophia would not receive the same freedom, peace of mind or safety net of services you rely on each and every day. Please save a life today by making your tax deductible gift – www.medicalert.org/donate.