Maila Rambissoon is used to worrying about her daughter Maddie’s severe peanut allergy.
“She is a six out of six on the scale and it’s life threatening for her, she’s got to be very, very careful about everything she eats and touches,” said Maila Rambissoon.
But she can rest a bit easier now, knowing that her community is prepared to combat allergic reactions. Recently the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office became one of the first agencies in Illinois to enact a new state law that allows police to administer epinephrine, a drug that can reverse a severe allergic reaction.
“The EpiPen only give you about 15 minutes to react and get to a hospital and get a paramedic, so it’s going to save a lot of lives, it’s nice that the entire community is now backing this,” added Rambissoon.
Since the new law is unfunded, the change in DuPage County is thanks to a $40,000 donation to the Sheriff’s Department from the Annie LeGere Foundation, which was founded in honor of 13-year-old Annie LeGere, who died from an allergic reaction.
“Anyone who has children would understand that it’s the most ultimate loss in the world and if this can help save one child, or an adult, and I know it already has, it lessens the pain for me,” said Shelly LeGere, Annie’s mom.
And the new law may be just in time: doctors say the number of American children with nut allergies has quadrupled in the past 13 years.
“Serious allergies and allergies in general seem to show up more often. Part of that could be as a population were more aware of what to look out for but the other part the numbers do show it,” said Dr. Riddhi Pakrasi, an Internal Medicine Doctor with the Edward Medical Group.
Finally, a sense of relief for families affected by severe allergies.
“I’m thrilled that the police are going to start carrying it, because if they need to get to her, they’ll save her,” said Rambissoon.
On a similar note, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease just released a series of guidelines for parents to follow in order to help decrease peanut allergies in children later in life. They can be found on their website at www.niaid.nih.gov.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.