Brain damage after single bite of meal with nuts

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THE picture shows five young friends, hair whipping in the wind, excited to be boarding a plane for a girls weekend in Budapest.

Less than two days later, Amy May Shead, 26, would be lying in an induced coma with brain damage after a single bite of a meal, following a heart attack triggered by an anaphylactic shock.

Now, the family of the former television producer is calling for nuts to be banned on flights as their daughter struggles to recover from her life-changing reaction.

Speaking on UK breakfast television show, This Morning, where Amy used to work, parents Sue and Roger Shead told of their heartbreak at seeing their daughter’s life changed after just one mouthful of a contaminated meal of chicken and rice at a Budapest restaurant in 2014.

Amy May Shead appears on This Morning

Amy May Shead has suffered brain damage from a bite of a meal containing nuts.

Amy May Shead has suffered brain damage from a bite of a meal containing nuts.Source:Supplied

Amy May where she used to work at This Morning.

Amy May where she used to work at This Morning.Source:Supplied

Mum Sue Shead said her daughter’s shock set in immediately after taking a bite of the food she had ordered — despite confirming with the chef she was allergic to nuts.

“Immediately she felt her throat tightening and went into anaphylactic shock,” Sue Shead said about her cautious daughter who carried an allergy card in multiple languages.

Despite being equipped with two EpiPens, the reaction was so severe Amy’s heart stopped beating and she was pronounced dead for six minutes.

The family flew to Budapest and were sat down upon entering the hospital and braced for the severity of the news.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “They didn’t actually think she would survive the week. They had her at a 30 per cent chance of actually getting through that week.”

Viewers shared their heartbreak with the family online. Picture: Twitter.

Viewers shared their heartbreak with the family online. Picture: Twitter.Source:Supplied

Amy spent three weeks in intensive care and was sedated to maximum levels in an attempt to reduce the swelling in her brain. She can now understand what is being said around her but is not able to communicate, having suffered severe brain damage due to a lack of oxygen.

Her family have been privately financing her medical bills due to the lifelong condition that meant she was unable to receive medical insurance. They were also unable to sue the restaurant given there is no compulsory public liability insurance in Hungary, and are now appealing to the public to help fund the cost of her treatment.

Viewers shared their heartbreak at the story on social media, with many saying they did not realise how serious the problem could be.

Book in to one of our First Aid Courses in Canberra so you know how to use the epipen injector.

The Amy May Trust is now working to raise awareness of nut allergies and have them banned from flights, where recycled air can put allergy sufferers at risk. Read more or donate to the Amy May Trust here.

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