Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Please, Don't Be a Killer

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Please, Don't Be a Killer

Article excerpt

Byline: By Rhodri Phillips

A girl suffering from a rare food allergy is pleading with fuel protesters not to block the roads this summer.

Hollie Atkinson, 13, suffers from anaphylaxis and could die if she accidentally eats nuts and is not treated in time.

She has come within minutes of death three times after suffering allergic reactions and she fears for people who need emergency treatment, if ambulances are caught in traffic jams this summer.

Fuel protesters have promised a two-hour 5mph tour of Newcastle during rush hour next Wednesday in protest against rising fuel prices.

But in a letter to The Journal Hollie, who lives in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, and has been treated for her condition at the RVI in Newcastle, asks the protesters not to risk people's lives.

Hollie, a pupil at Monkseaton school in Whitley Bay, wrote: "I have potentially fatal food allergies and have almost died on three occasions. I was only saved by the ambulances being able to get me to hospital quickly and I am very worried that when the roads are blocked up with the slowly moving lorries, someone like me who needs emergency hospital treatment will die."

Anaphylaxis is triggered when the body's immune system reacts to food such as nuts, sea food or dairy products, which it wrongly thinks is a threat.

The body releases chemicals, including histamine, which cause blood vessels in the mouth and on the skin to swell.

The sufferer can experience low blood pressure and difficulty breathing and hospital treatment is essential.

Hollie's father Neil, 50, a commercial photographer, and mother Janet carry adrenalin on them at all times in case Hollie suffers an allergic reaction.

Her six-year-old sister Carmen is not affected by the allergy.

Mr Atkinson said: "If an ambulance or a fire engine is stuck in traffic because of the fuel protesters, there could be terrible consequences. …

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