A New York mother is up in arms after her son died when staff at his school gave him a candy bar with nuts in it, despite the fact that he had a peanut allergy. The staff also reportedly failed to immediately administer an epinephrine dose or call emergency services.
Brandon Dixon, 13, succumbed to his allergic reaction at PS 226 in March 2014. His mother, Chanique Carney-Dixon, is now suing the city as well as the departments of Education and Health for negligence.
“That is just the worst pain in the world, not to speak to your child again,” Carney-Dixon told the New York Post. “I always wonder, did he cry out for me? ... Did he suffer?”
Brandon was the oldest of three children. He was slated to become the bone-marrow donor for his younger brother, Tyler, who has sickle cell anemia.
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“That was a double blow,” said Carney-Dixon.
According to his mother, Brandon was careful about his allergy. However, when a classmate asked for a candy bar from a school staff member, Brandon wanted one too. The official allegedly gave the boy a strawberry bar despite the fact that it had nuts in it.
When Brandon started vomiting, he was taken to the school nurse who reportedly did not have an epinephrine pen with her. Nobody called emergency medical services, the mother claimed.
According to the Department of Education, every medical room in city public schools must have an epinephrine pen.
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Another nurse at the school was contacted and she was able to give Brandon two shots of epinephrine. However, “it was too late,” said Carney-Dixon.
The boy was taken to Cornell Medical Center but passed away before his mother could see him.
“That was the worst day of my life,” Carney-Dixon said.
A spokesman for the city said that they will review the allegation, saying, “The loss of a child is a tragedy no family should endure.”
“I can’t hear his voice anymore,” the mother said. “I can’t see his smile anymore, I can’t hear him walking anymore. He always walked heavy. It’s just so quiet now.”
She added: “It’s just a nightmare I have to live with every day. ... He died of the very same thing he was so afraid of — peanuts.”
According to FoodAllergy.org, a person is sent to the hospital every three minutes due to food allergies.
Photo Credit: The NY Post, WikiCommons