A 20-year-old university student from Randburg died after kissing her boyfriend who had just eaten bread and peanut butter. According to her mother, her daughter had a peanut butter allergy and any contact with peanuts or the peanut butter products would make her react badly including being unable to breathe.
The ambulance arrived within minutes but were still too late; Palesa died at the hospital from a lack of oxygen to her brain. Her mother says her daughter had recently told her new boyfriend she loved him. “Sadly, she did not have the time to tell him she had a peanut allergy.”
Her mother now wants young people to know how important it is to carry medicines and bracelets which tell others about their allergies. Palesa wasn’t wearing a Medical Alert bracelet and didn’t have her medicine with her.
“This is why you have to carry your medicine even though you don’t want to and even though it’s not cool,” Dr. Govender Naidoo from Olivedale Hospital in Randburg said.
Traces of allergens—from peanuts, for example—can linger in saliva for hours. “The most important part of managing your allergies is that you have to inform people,” Dr Naidoo says.
“You have to say, ‘Listen guys, I have food allergies, I have my medicine. If there’s a problem, help me.'”