Saoirse has a life threatening peanut allergy. Saoirse's allergy is severe. If she were to ingest even a microscopic amount of peanut, she risks the possibilty of fatal anaphylactic shock.
Saoirse was diagnosed at age 2 with peanut allergy. Her first reaction seemed mild with small hives around her mouth after eating some peanuts. A year later, in the summer of 2011, Saoirse got a tiny amount of peanut residue in her eye which precipitated an anaphylactic reaction. In 15 minutes, her eyes and face swelled, she was sneezing and coughing up fluid and mucus uncontrollably, and her breathing was threatened. She became quiet and lethargic on the ride to the hospital, and we were terrified. The doctors placed an IV and gave her medication to fight the reaction. Saoirse was too sick to even fight the needle stick. In the picture gallery there is photo of her in the ER after 1 hour of being stabilized.
Currently our only treatment is to avoid peanut and carry Epi-pens with us wherever she goes. Sometimes, even epinephrine cannot reverse anaphylaxis once it starts. This is why we obsessively check labels. We avoid most restaurants. Saoirse cannot go out for ice cream. She can't eat birthday cake at her friends' parties. She is 4 years old and she can tell you what foods threaten her life. Saoirse wants to "belong" and be able to do and eat what everyone else can. As her parents, we just want to make sure we don't lose our baby over a peanut.There is hope for Saoirse!
Her allergist offers groundbreaking OIT (oral immunotherapy) treatment for peanut allergy. This consists of taking tiny amounts of peanut by mouth twice a day, and increasing the dosage weekly. If successful, she will be able to eat 12 whole, real peanuts twice a day - effectively curing her. Saoirse is excited to know that she will one day be able to eat food without fear. Our insurance company is refusing to cover this treatment and we are asking for your help!
Saoirse's start date for treatment is May 2, 2013. She will then go once a week to the allergist for an updosing appointment. There are anywhere from 20-25 updosing appointments during the therapy. After that she will be on "maintenance" and eat peanuts once a day to maintain her tolerance to peanut.
Here's some videos of her amazing doctor - Dr. Richard Wasserman - describing the process:Dr. Wasserman on the show Mom's EverydayDr. Wasserman on NBC 5
PS: her name is pronounced sayr-shuh, it's Gaelic for freedom and liberty. You can listen to author Frank McCourt pronounce her name here: Saoirse