It was October of 2012 when Canadian mother Micheline Ducré received the dreaded midnight phone call that her daughter’s life was in peril. Twenty-year-old Myriam Ducré-Lemay had been rushed to the hospital, her fate uncertain.
Ducré was horrified to learn the circumstances surrounding her daughter’s final hours on that fatal night. Now, she hopes that her family’s tragic story will prevent others from suffering the same fate.
Myriam, young, beautiful, and full of life, had recently been spending time with a new love interest and had already told her mother that she was in love. She and her new boyfriend were at his home when he decided to make a quick snack before going to bed.
The couple shared several goodnight kisses when Myriam began to feel odd, having trouble breathing. She reached for her asthmatic inhaler, but it didn’t relieve the suffocating feeling in her chest.
In the eight minutes it took for an ambulance to arrive, Myriam was already unconscious. “Unfortunately, she wouldn’t have had the time to tell him she had a peanut allergy,” Ducré expressed.
Unfortunately, nothing could revive Myriam. Her brain was deprived of oxygen for too long, and she passed away.
Years later, Myriam’s mother has found the strength and courage to share her daughter’s story. She firmly believes that two things could have saved her daughter’s life that night: a Medic Alert bracelet and her EpiPen.
If she’d worn a bracelet, Myriam’s boyfriend undoubtedly would have asked her why. But the relationship was new, and he hadn’t a clue that his sweet girlfriend had such a severe allergy.
“Your departure, as hasty and tragic as it may be, has not been in vain,” Ducré wrote on Facebook. “It is imperative that information [and awareness] continue to circulate again and again in order to save lives.”
Head of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology at Montreal Children’s Hospital Dr. Christine McCusker implores people with food allergies to be upfront with everyone in order to protect themselves. “You have to say, ‘Listen, guys, I have food allergies, I have my EpiPen. If there’s a problem, help me.‘”
It may not be popular or stylish to wear a medical bracelet and tote an EpiPen around, but really, who cares? And if you are with a person who wears a medical bracelet, Ducré implores, ask why, even if the question feels awkward.
“Share to save lives,” Ducré wrote. “Be well informed to be well protected!”
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