An innocent kiss with a new boyfriend had 20-year-old Myriam Ducré-Lemay fighting to catch her breath, and minutes later, she was clinging to life.
According to Liftable, Myriam’s mother, Micheline Ducré, received a frantic late-night phone call telling her her daughter was being rushed to the hospital unable to breathe.
Ducré-Lemay kissed her boyfriend goodnight at his home when her breathing problems started. She used her asthma inhaler, but that didn’t help. She then asked her boyfriend a question about what he had been eating.
When he told her he had eaten a peanut butter sandwich, she immediately told him to call 911. The 20-year-old was allergic to peanuts, but she never told her boyfriend.
Ducré-Lemay was already unconscious by the time the ambulance arrived eight minutes later. Her mother said:
“Unfortunately, she wouldn’t have had the time to tell him she had a peanut allergy.”
The Telegraph reports Myriam was resuscitated once she arrived at the hospital, but it was too late to save her after she experienced severe cerebral anoxia, leaving her brain completely deprived of oxygen from the allergic reaction.
The heartbroken mother recalled that her daughter told her she was in love with her new boyfriend just days before her death, telling the Journal de Quebec newspaper:
“It’s the first time I saw my daughter with such bright eyes.”
Ducré believes her daughter would be alive today if she had two things with her after the kiss: her EpiPen and a Medic Alert bracelet.
Miriam’s mother continues to warn others to take these precautions to save their own lives since her daughter’s death in 2012.
Dr. Christine McCusker, head of pediatric allergy and immunology at Montreal Children’s Hospital, said an individual’s saliva can hold traces of allergens, including peanuts, for up to four hours after the food has been eaten.
The doctor explained Ducré-Lemay was in the “risk age range” for severe allergies, which is teens and young adults between 15 and 30 years old.
She told CTV News:
“That’s the range when kids are going out more, they’re spending less time under the watchful eye of their parents, they’re taking a few more risks and they’re not as likely to be carrying their EpiPens. This is why you have to carry your EpiPen, even though you don’t want to and even though it’s not cool,”
Like Ducré, McCusker is urging people with food allergies to speak up to protect their lives, making sure the people around them know about their medical condition to keep themselves alive:
“You have to say, ‘Listen, guys, I have food allergies, I have my EpiPen.”
The devastated mother’s message to others is “Share to save lives. Be well informed to be well protected!”