Even the most careful kids can sometimes consume foods they're allergic to.
Sadly, that's just what happened when Oakley Debbs took a bite out of a pound cake recently. Oakley had a tree nut and peanut allergy, and his parents say he was usually very careful about checking labels. This time, however, he was hungry and tired and ate before looking.
"He thought it was just a piece of cake. But when he ate it, he came over and said it might have contained nuts," Oakley's mother told Allergic Living.
She gave him Benadryl, which at first seemed to help the hive that had formed on his lip.
Soon, he began having chest pains. He vomited, and his mother administered another round of Benadryl.
He was having trouble breathing, so the family called 9-1-1. Two doses of epinephrine did not help his condition, though, and he passed away in the hospital shortly afterward.
Even though this family has experienced intense tragedy, they want to make sure others know how to care for a child having an allergic reaction.
Oakley's mother didn't know that Benadryl is not the recommended medication during an allergic reaction. Instead, an Epi-Pen is always preferred.
Based on Oakley's love of red sneakers, the Red Sneaker Foundation now aims to warn parents and promote Epi-Pen use during anaphylaxis.
They also have a Facebook page, Red Sneakers for Oakley, where people are encouraged to post pictures of the shoes in his memory.
"This child of mine, he was a rock star," his father said. "He was a good, good kid. And always in my heart of hearts, I knew that he would make a difference in his life—I just didn't know it would be after he passed away. So that's a big part of my driving force—the legacy of Oakley."