This is really a sad and tragic story. A 9-year-old girl passed away after she had a bite of a pancake that her dad prepared for her. She had an allergic reaction to it and she ended up going into anaphylactic shock.
Nainika Tikoo of London had a severe anaphylactic reaction to the pancake lunch her dad made for her. Unfortunately, she had to be placed on life support and it was turned off five days after this sad situation.
When her father tried to bring her back to life, he called her mother, saying, “Please come home and save her,” only for her mother to arrive home and find her daughter lying on the floor turning blue.
Her mother explained, “I rushed home and walked into a scene where she was stripped and lying on the floor, almost blue and paramedics were trying desperately to resuscitate her.
They rushed her to Northwick hospital, northwest London. After trying for an hour, her pulse came back but she had been starved of oxygen and there was a lot of irreversible damage.”
She added, “I think at that point, I didn’t understand what that meant. I was thinking paralysis or disability but that she would bounce back eventually. They took her to ICU and told us it wasn’t looking good, but I was still thinking she would be treated and get better.”
Nainika was declared brain dead two days later and was kept on a ventilator.
Her parents knew she was allergic to dairy and eggs and sensitive to soya since she was a baby, so those items weren’t in the home.
Her mother explained, “For that reason [she wasn’t high risk], we had never seen an allergist. We don’t blame anyone for Nainika’s death, but we do wish that there had been more awareness about allergies and we’re determined to speak out in her name to stop any other families from going through this devastating pain.”
Nainika’s parents believed the pancake mix might have been contaminated with one of the ingredients she was allergic to.
Her mother explained how they first discovered their daughter’s allergies: “We are of the Hindu faith and at around six months old, we hold a ceremony called an Annaprashana to mark a baby starting to have solid food. There is a small ceremony, where you give babies rice milk. Nainika just had a few spoonfuls and it caused a reaction. We didn’t know at that point that you could be allergic to dairy, but her whole body started swelling up.”
She also got a blotchy red rash and was taken to the hospital, where doctors explained that her dairy allergy “was so severe that she couldn’t be in the same room if you were boiling milk,” her mother noted. A prick test determined her sensitivity to soya and an allergy to dairy and eggs, so they cut these items out of her diet.
Of the day she had a fatal response to the pancakes, her mother explained: “May 20 was a normal Saturday morning. She’d finished her weekly horse riding lesson and was hungry so had asked her dad if they could have some pancakes. On the way home, they picked up flour and she asked if she could have some blackberries with it. She had never had them before, but wanted to try some.”
She added: “My husband made dairy-free pancakes, as he would normally, but with a few blackberries sliced up. She had one bite of that pancake and she reacted pretty violently. The rash came up and she started swelling. He gave her Piriton, anti-allergy medicine, her inhaler, and more Piriton.”
The situation escalated, so her dad “gave her the EpiPen and called the ambulance. He had to start giving her mouth to mouth and the ambulance arrived in just a few minutes. She had lost her pulse by that time and they tried to resuscitate her.”
Following the tragic turn of events, her parents now campaign for better awareness and treatment for food allergies, explaining, “We want to create awareness material, contribute to research projects and get the message out there.”