Watch this. Share this. Food allergies result in death.

3 Jun

Victorian Coroner Audrey Jamieson found that Melbourne’s Scotch College “failed to exercise reasonable care and attention” when it obtained and distributed ration packs on a cadet camp in the remote Wombat State Forest on March 30, 2007. As a result of “systemic deficiencies” within the school, Nathan Francis, 13, was given an army ration pack containing beef satay, even though his mother had told the school several times of his severe allergy to peanuts.

He ate from the pack at 1.55pm, immediately had trouble breathing and by 2.12pm he was unconscious. He died despite four EpiPens of adrenalin being administered to him.


This story has haunted me for years. My son has severe food allergies. He’s eight. Before he started school it was easy to keep him safe. He was always with me. I monitored everything he ate. When he started school I suffered from sleepless nights for months. His school had assured me they could easily handle food allergies. At first there were issues that needed to be addressed and now they seem to do well…but there are still problems. Food allergies are regarded by some teachers and parents as an annoyance. They resent they have the responsibility for what children eat (um, you can’t teach dead kids) and each time my son has a new teacher I pretty much start from stratch.

When I head Nathan Francis’ father on the news yesterday, saying that his son should be at university by now I felt shattered. This death should never have happened.

I worry that I will keep him safe for years and then he’ll die as a result of someone else’s negligence….because I think the real problem when it comes to food allergies is the attitude of other and a lack of awareness about their severity.

My beautiful friend and Australian journalist Grace Farah made this amazing documentary. Please watch it. Her little girl has severe food allergies. The more people watch this the better we can collectively protect our children. We protect kids from themselves, from predators, from being hit by cars, from other children…and some need to be protected from their food allergies.

La Dolce Vita – Jo Abi


One Response to “Watch this. Share this. Food allergies result in death.”

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