Moments After Son Eats Thanksgiving Dessert, He’s Lifeless in Dad’s Arms. Drs Never Warned Mom

November 27, 2017
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11-year-old Oakley Debbs passed away last year after unknowingly eating a cake containing nuts.

Oakley was loved by many and in his honor friends are wearing red, his favorite color in the hope of educating others so that it might not happen to them.

Oakley and his family were holidaying in Maine over Thanksgiving 2016, where relatives had ordered a Thanksgiving gift basket for the family to enjoy. The basket contained a pound cake.

Merrill Debbs, Oakley’s grieving mother said “We didn’t even see the cake; it had just been opened up and set on the island of the kitchen.” Oakley who was allergic to peanuts and tree nuts was very aware of his allergy and often checked the labels on food; however, he didn’t see any signs of nuts in the cake and ate a slice.

The Debbs Family,(Tyler Debbs Squire Facebook)

“He thought it was just a piece of cake. But when he ate it, he come over and said it might have contained nuts,” his father Robert Debbs has said. He was right. It was later established that the cake contained walnut.

His parents were quick to react and Merrill gave her son some Benadryl, “Merrill did what we usually do, she gave him Benadryl. And he came back and said he felt fine,” Robert added stating that Oakley’s only symptom at this point was a hive on his lip.

However, shortly afterwards Oakley started to experience chest pain and within fifteen minutes he suddenly vomited. His symptoms were subsiding but shortly after that he was sick again. “He started throwing up and from there it was a tornado of issues. We called 911. By the time the ambulance got there – about 10 minutes later – he was blue,” said Merrill.

However, a mere 90 minutes after eating the piece of cake, Oakley’s airwaves had closed and his heart stopped.

(Tyler Debbs Squire Facebook)

Oakley had asthma and seasonal allergies, and doctors told them his nut allergy was “mild”. The family had an emergency action plan for dealing with their son’s conditions but doctors never told them it was needed for his supposedly mild nut allergy.

They had an EpiPen but claim to have never been educated on the signs and symptoms of when to use it. When emergency services arrived they gave the boy two doses of epinephrine, unfortunately, it was too late.

Oakley was officially pronounced dead four days later.

Merrill said that they were unaware that epinephrine was the only first-line drug for anaphylaxis, not antihistamines, as they were previously told. “I wasn’t aware, no one told me,” she said.

Red Sneakers for Oakley Facebook

The family started the Red Sneaker Foundation in their son’s memory, to help educate others and to turn their tragedy into something more positive. People around the community are wearing red sneakers, cleats and hair ribbons to show support for their friend and teammate.

A “Celebration of Life” soccer game was planned for December 10th 2016 in honor of Oakley and players and spectators alike wore white and red on the day. Now a year later family and friends were preparing for the  Memorial Soccer Jamboree and Field Dedication in honor of Oakley, which was held on the 25th of November.

Red Sneakers for Oakley Facebook

“I don’t think my beautiful, amazing, talented, adorable son should have passed away. The child of mine, he was a rock star, he was a good, good kid. And always in my heart of hearts, I knew that he would make a difference in his life – I just didn’t know it would be after he passed away. So that’s a big part of my driving force – the legacy of Oakley,” Merrill concluded.

You can follow the link to the Red Sneakers for Oakley Facebook page here.

 

 

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