‘Incredible’ nursery staff saved a baby boy’s life after he suffered a severe allergic reaction.
Dominic Whitham, affectionately known as Doodles, was playing at Astbury Lane Nursery in Congleton when red blotches started to appear on his face.
Fearing the youngster would go into full anaphylactic shock, quick-thinking workers immediately contacted mum Kerri-Louise Whitham and administered his allergy medication, Stoke-on-Trent live reports.
It was later discovered that Dominic has experienced a serious reaction to oral medication he was being given for a skin condition during the terrifying incident on March 23.
Kerri-Louise, 33, said: “I could see straight away that his lips had started swelling, his eyes were poofy, lips were a deep red. I am relaying this back to the GP, I said, ‘He’s had his allergy medication but the symptoms do seem to have spread in the 10 to 15 minutes it has taken me to get there.’
“He wasn’t at all fighting for his breath, he just had lots of shallow, quick breathing.”
The GP told Kerri-Louise she needed to take Dominic to hospital before his symptoms worsened and an ambulance was called instead.
Once there, doctors kept an eye on Dominic as the allergy medicine wore off.
Kerri-Louise said: “Fortunately, due to the medication being administered so early on in the reaction, Dominic’s symptoms did not progress much further. He was discharged from hospital relatively quickly, and the doctor said that they were ‘lucky’ that the reaction had not been worse. She was surprised that his throat didn’t close up on him, it could have been a full anaphylactic shock. But it wasn’t, the reaction paused at face swelling.”
Dominic has 15 known allergens, including latex, avocado, milk and beef.
He also suffers from breathing problems and neonatal absence syndrome, after developing a morphine addiction due to his mother’s disability.
Kerri-Louise explained that she was in a car accident at 16 which left her left leg paralysed and also resulted in spinal damage.
She said: “He was born with a morphine addiction because of my disability. It’s neonatal abstinence syndrome, and when you go into withdrawal, your body shakes and you get angry because you need something that you can’t have. My older son (Maxx, aged eight) has the same thing.”
Despite the challenges in caring for Dominic, Kerri-Louise explained that the nursery has been incredible with his allergies, and this incident is just a testament to their care and quality.
She said: “When I mentioned his health problems, it was never a problem. Nothing is too much for this nursery, they have made something that was so so difficult at home, such a worry, they made it easy. When he goes to nursery, I don’t worry, because I know for a fact that they will look after him.”
It took a week for Dominic’s symptoms to subside, but the situation could have been a lot worse had the nursery not reacted so fast.
Nursery manager, Kate Smithers, said she was ‘proud’ of the team.
She added: “After the girls noticed the mark on Dominic’s face, they instantly reacted by giving him the care and treatment needed. The team are incredible and the way they took control of the situation and knew that something wasn’t right, is a detriment to how seriously they take their role.
“From the moment they noticed the mark, to the emergency medication being administered was literally a few minutes. Throughout, they remained calm, focused and worked together as a team to support one another, Dominic and also his mother, Kerri.
“As a nursery, we are beyond proud of the team and their commitment to supporting all of our children and building those strong and professional relationships with their families. Dominic amazes us everyday and how he has learnt more than 80 signs in British Sign Language with his family’s support.
“The team organised with Kerri, for her to come in over a few evenings and spend time teaching the staff signs to build their confidence and also so they are able to understand Dominic throughout the day. As their manager, I am incredibly proud of them for all that they do for our children and their families each day.”
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