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Death by Nuts

Posted by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 12:52 PM
  • 69 Replies

This is a tragic example of how quickly a child can die from a nut allergy. What do you think about schools that ban peanuts and their products (the most allergic and dangerous one) for snacks and lunches?

http://www.11alive.com/news/article/202053/40/STONE-MOUNTAIN-Teen-dies-from-eating-chocolate-chip-cookie

10th grader dies from allergic reaction to cookie containing nuts

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- Jharell Dillard, 15 years old, was taller than his father, loved basketball, had a deep faith, and was getting ready to graduate from Central Gwinnett High School in Lawrenceville at 16 and then go to college.

Jharell was also allergic to several foods.

And Tuesday night he took a bite from a cookie that he thought was free of nuts.

"Immediately he realized there were nuts in the cookie."

Charles Dillard speaks of his son with the resolute strength of a man who is in unspeakable pain that he wants no other parent to experience.

Jharell was shopping at the Loganville Wal Mart with his mother and sisters Tuesday night, and he went out to the car to get one of the cookies his aunt had given them when they stopped at her house just before they drove to the store.

Charles Dillard said the cookies were not home-made, they were store-bought cookies, and he thinks Jharell's aunt had simply mixed up the cookies accidentally with some that contained nuts. Jharell is allergic to nuts.

"She pulled out some chocolate chip, and I guess she pulled out some out of another bag that she thought were chocolate chip, as well. She gave them to him as chocolate chip. And that's why he ate them, because he believed they were chocolate chip cookies."

Jharell immediately had a reaction. Medication that had helped him before wasn't helping. His mom called 911. He went into anaphylactic shock.

Loganville Police Detective David Hunt said there was little that anyone could have done to save him.

"It really comes down to seconds, because once someone goes into anaphylactic shock, their airway begins to swell."

Jharell never regained consciousness.

"It's a tragic accident," said Det. Hunt.

"It was such a severe, quick reaction to whatever nut was in the cookie, that he would have needed to have been in an emergency room the minute it occurred" to have survived it, Dillard said he found out later.

He and his wife just want to tell other parents of children who have allergies -- always be vigilant.

Jharell had been flown to Children's Health Care of Atlanta at Egleston, where his parents had to make the decision to remove his life support.  They are donating Jharell's organs. As of Thursday night Jharell had saved seven lives.

"The feeling my wife and I received after hearing that his organs have been placed and that these people would receive a second chance at life makes Jharell's life more important."

Dillard said the support that people from his church are giving the family is what's getting them through this now.

The Dillards have two other children, two girls ages 17 and 10.

They will let everyone know, possibly Friday, when Jharell's funeral will be.

 Sexy If its unladylike, fattening or fun, I'm in!
  

by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 12:52 PM
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Replies (1-10):
LoriKeet
by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 12:58 PM

"Jharell was shopping at the Loganville Wal Mart with his mother and sisters Tuesday night, and he went out to the car to get one of the cookies his aunt had given them when they stopped at her house just before they drove to the store."

I'm sorry, but at age 16, this kid (his Aunt, father and other family members) should have known how to read package ingredients, to KNOW the cookie contained nuts, nut by products, or was manufactured in a facility that makes nut products (all of which is REQURIED to be mentioned on the packaging!), AND if he was THAT allergic to nuts, he should also have had with him (or his family) an EpiPen, and known how to use it!!


Peanutx3
by Ruby Member on Aug. 19, 2011 at 1:00 PM

I don't like the idea of banning foods from a school.  I understand how deadly some of these allergic reactions can be.  I am left wondering why we have such a large rise in nut allergies?  Growing up I didn't know anyone with a nut allergy now there are kids with nut allergies everywhere. 

romalove
by Roma on Aug. 19, 2011 at 1:07 PM

 

The most likely food allergy for a kid to have is nuts (peanuts) and then seafood.  Most kids aren't bringing seafood to school.  The things that schools have to be mindful of are really nuts and latex (there are a lot of allergies to that as well).  I do not believe it is too much to ask for a school to be peanut or latex free if it saves the life of an allergic child.

As far as the rise of allergies, I'm curious about that too.  Regardless, the child didn't ask to be deathly allergic, and we should be able to accomodate this.

OHgirlinCA
by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 1:12 PM

My daughter's friend is incredibly allergic to nuts.  She touched an open bag of peanut butter ritz crackers by accident in a class and immediately had a reaction.  She has an epi pen on her at all times and immediately injected herself with it and was taken to the office to seek help from there.  While these allergies are horrific, I don't think it's right to ban food that people are allergic to altogether.  Steps need to be taken by those that are affected by it in order to be proactive in case there is an issue. 

I do wonder why these allergies have become so prevalent all of a sudden.  Growing up I didn't know anybody allergic to nuts.

.Bubbles.
by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 1:18 PM

It sounds like the aunt had removed the cookies from the original package and placed them in a different bag to send them with him.  I can't imagine losing a child that way. It is nice that they felt comfort in being able to donate his organs.

ecagle
by Kegel on Aug. 19, 2011 at 1:24 PM

 I don't mind doing it.  My son really hit it off with a boy that has an all-nut allergy.  They are constantly doing things together...I spoke to his mother about how severe it was and what precautions I needed to take etc (for example, if he comes over to our house, will even nuts being in the house and having touched the counter effect him)...HOWEVER, my child has celiac's, so I'm familiar with being vigilant about certain things.

Oh, and I don't mind not sending my child to school with peanut butter sandwiches.  If someone absolutely wanted to send their child with a sandwich with jelly, the could always use sunbutter (made from sunflower seeds)...

wickedfiress
by Kellie on Aug. 19, 2011 at 1:31 PM

I think it's not too much to ask to accommodate a CHILD with a severe allergy at SCHOOL where they are required to be for a good portion of their day.  I've even gone so far as thoroughly cleaning my kitchen and living room up when I knew a friend and her very allergic son were coming over that day.


"The feeling my wife and I received after hearing that his organs have been placed and that these people would receive a second chance at life makes Jharell's life more important."

Also, ^^^THIS^^^ is why I'm an organ doner, and why my husband and I have discussed it for and with our children also. My daughter wants to be one, my son doesn't understand yet.

It's amazing how people don't hold themselves to the standards they set for others.

ladyvamp5489
by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Poor family, i know how deadly food  allergies can be, i have a ton of them myself.  Ppl need to realize this CAN be VERY deadly and  especially nuts! and ppl need to learn to be careful because you never know when someone has an allergy.

Woodbabe
by Woodie on Aug. 19, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Yes it could have been prevented but the point was to show how quickly a person can die from nuts. Every year parents get upset because they think their child's right to eat peanut butter should supercede the dangers to the life of a classmate.

Quoting LoriKeet:

"Jharell was shopping at the Loganville Wal Mart with his mother and sisters Tuesday night, and he went out to the car to get one of the cookies his aunt had given them when they stopped at her house just before they drove to the store."

I'm sorry, but at age 16, this kid (his Aunt, father and other family members) should have known how to read package ingredients, to KNOW the cookie contained nuts, nut by products, or was manufactured in a facility that makes nut products (all of which is REQURIED to be mentioned on the packaging!), AND if he was THAT allergic to nuts, he should also have had with him (or his family) an EpiPen, and known how to use it!!



 Sexy If its unladylike, fattening or fun, I'm in!
  

Woodbabe
by Woodie on Aug. 19, 2011 at 2:09 PM


Quoting Peanutx3:

I don't like the idea of banning foods from a school.  I understand how deadly some of these allergic reactions can be.  I am left wondering why we have such a large rise in nut allergies?  Growing up I didn't know anyone with a nut allergy now there are kids with nut allergies everywhere. 

It really only happens in the lower grades of elementary school. Obviously young children can't be responsible for protecting their own lives so the schools have a responsibility to take precautions on behalf of the youngsters!

 Sexy If its unladylike, fattening or fun, I'm in!
  

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