Hai’s Emergency on Christmas Eve

Family, friends, and even strangers,

Last night I was taken to a hospital for Anaphylaxis, a severe food allergy.

It started at a Christmas Eve party at one of my brother’s home. After eating, I started to develop severe rash in which the whole body is swollen and itch. I promptly took a double dose of children Benadryl, the only option at the time.

On the drive back home, my eyes blacken out, I cannot even see my wife who is driving next to me. Once home, I took some rest, felt nauseated and went to the bathroom to throw up. I fell and hit my chin on the counter and became unconscious. My wife promptly called 911 and the medics came within a couple of minutes. According to my wife, it only took them a couple of minutes to arrive due to their distant from our home.

At this point, the medics administered Additional Benadryl and thought I was stabilized. All of a sudden, my systolic pressured dropped from 115 to 85. I heard the medics jumped into action, they administered some medication that caused my heart to pump rapidly and saved my life. A medic named Matt told my wife that if she called 2-3 minutes later, I would be dead. He also said that calling 911 was what saved my life. If she drove me to the hospital, I would not make it. At the hospital, things went well and the doctor released me a few hours later.

I am alive and blog today thanks to my wife, Tracy, for being able to act under pressure; my kids who prayed for me, my brothers and sisters who went to me either physically or in their thoughts.

From this incident, I learned a couple of lessons

  • When my sister Brittany told me to go to emergency room, I did not listen, thinking I would be fine. I should have listened to her.
  • Calling 911 immediately was the key to save my life. I have my wife Tracy to thank for that.

2010-12-27 Update

I went to see my doctor for a follow up. My heartbeats are still irregular, but not too serious. I feel tired.

2010-12-29 Update

I went to see two allergy specialists who built a profile of which food I am allergic to. They performed skin test today and blood test to follow on the next day. The skin test did not point to any of the food I ate that night, so the cause is still a mystery. I hope that that blood test will tell me more.


7 thoughts on “Hai’s Emergency on Christmas Eve

  1. Hai Post author

    Roast beef, green beans, canned corn, sticky rice with black-eye beans, and almonds. I suspected almonds, but the skin test turns out to be negative for both beef and almonds. I am waiting for the blood test result.

  2. Richard Pappalardo


    I’m so glad to hear that you’re OK. Sometimes life has unexpected surprises and I’m so glad that have such a caring family to act quickly and save your life. I suppose it’s something we all take for granted too often.

    I’m just glad you’re still here with us.

    Hope you feel fully recovered soon.

    Take care,

  3. Brian

    Very scary Hai. I know that you have been having bad allergies for a while now, hopefully they find out what the root cause is.

    Glad you’re feeling better,

  4. Agnes

    So sorry to hear that. Glad you are doing better. You have a great wife! Also look at the ingredients in the items you ate. Maybe there is a chemical/ingredient you are allergic to.

    My daughter is allergic to MSG. Also if you ate something that was processed in a plant that processes Peanuts, you can have that reaction. Make sure they test you for peanuts as well.

    Good luck finding out the root cause of the allergy.

  5. Theresa Rooney

    Greetings Hai,

    So happy to hear that you got prompt care and that you are feeling better. I hope the cause of the anaphylaxis is found so that you never have to go through this again.

    Get well soon,

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