Anaphylactic shock is a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction to a trigger such as an allergy, often developing very suddenly and getting worse quickly. It is considered to be a medical emergency.
With more options than ever catering to all diets and allergies at local cafés, coffee shops and other eateries, the risk of a slip-up is higher than ever. For this woman, an easy mistake nearly killed her.
As she drove home, she took three sips. ‘I tasted it and I thought, this doesn’t taste right, but I thought maybe they’d just put heaps of sugar in it,’ she told the MailOnline.
However, her throat began to close up and she quickly went into anaphylactic shock, and as she desperately gasped for air she lost control of the vehicle, sending her crashing into a letterbox. The 23-year-old said: ‘My life flashed before my eyes, everything went black, I was just so desperate to breathe.’
Fortunately, Savannah had her EpiPen with her. After injecting herself, she was taken to hospital by her sister who was in the nearby area, where medics gave her more adrenaline to help open up her airways.
‘Lucky I wasn’t taken far from home when the reaction started coming on – I was off the highway and in a quiet street – otherwise it could’ve been much worse,’ she added.
As she ordered the latte in her local branch, Savannah says she repeatedly made staff aware of her allergy, checking to ensure she was given full cream milk. She was none the wiser to the mistake that had been made, especially since her receipt said ‘full cream milk’.
‘People just think you’re being fussy and maybe don’t like the taste – but your throat can close up and you can die. It’s more serious than these people realise. The nurses said if I had come in five minutes later I wouldn’t be here,’ she explained.
McDonald’s have denied Savannah’s claims, saying the company had investigated the CCTV footage and found no almond milk was used in her drink.
A spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia:
We have thoroughly investigated this situation, including reviewing CCTV, and can confirm that the customer was provided with the small iced latte ordered.
‘From the CCTV footage, we’ve confirmed the almond milk carton was not touched or poured while the customer’s order was being made.
‘Also, there were no almond milk orders at the restaurant during the time the customer’s order was being prepared and served.’
Symptoms of anaphylaxis include, as per the NHS: feeling lightheaded or faint; breathing difficulties – such as fast, shallow breathing; wheezing; a fast heartbeat; clammy skin; confusion and anxiety; and collapsing or losing consciousness.