It was like watching a “zombie plague” and it took “only seconds”, parenting blogger Sophie Cachia said about watching her son, now aged three, suffer an anaphylactic reaction.
It happened as almost every near-tragedy happens: everything is so simply, blisteringly normal, until it is not.
“It was 2016 and our little family was living in Adelaide,” the now-26-year-old wrote for Wattle Health.
“That day I hadn’t really gotten around to organising anything for dinner, but I was stoked to find a pre-made pasta sauce in our fridge ready to go! I whipped up some ravioli and popped on the pumpkin and walnut sauce.”
Cachia, who created The Young Mummy, said she wondered if her son Bobby had tried walnuts before. She knew he had enjoyed muffins and banana bread with no reaction, that he’d been exposed to peanuts, almonds and pine nuts without problem. She thought walnuts should be fine.
His reaction started when a spoonful of sauce landed on his arm but Cachia mistook it for a burn.
“Thinking I was the worst mum ever for allowing my son to burn himself, I quickly cleaned him up and, just as I did, he simultaneously popped a spoonful of sauce in his mouth. No pasta, just sauce,” she wrote.
That’s when things became dangerous, with Bobby’s reaction turning into the “zombie plague” that “only took seconds”.
“His mouth started to bubble and mini-hives appeared before I even had time to say ‘CRAP’,” she wrote. “I could see the hives getting bigger and spreading all over his cheeks, his ears, up the back of his neck and starting to go down his chest. He started to scratch like a dog and cough.”
Panic quickly set in and Cachia first thought to call her mum. She then messaged her husband’s football coach while Jaryd Cachia, who played for the South Australian National Football League at the time, was at training.
Jaryd ran home – he was just down the street – and the pair hopped in the car to race an increasingly irritated Bobby to the emergency room.
“The panic in these situations is so high that we just went, “JUMP IN THE CAR!” because together we thought we could get there quicker. In hindsight, this was a TERRIBLE move,” Cachia wrote for Wattle Health.