New York mom handed out behind the wheel after growing a sudden peanut allergy whereas driving
It’s a family’s worst nightmare: a health emergency leaves a parent unconscious while driving and traps the adult and child in a moving car.
It happened to Lisa Bustin, who passed out last month after suddenly developing a peanut allergy at age 54 – something that’s more common than you might think.
Bustin’s 13-year-old son, Nathan, thought quickly when he saw his mother go limp behind the wheel. It likely helped prevent serious injuries or even saved both lives.
“He was really just my hero because he didn’t panic. He just thought I had to help my mother, save my mother, ”said Bustin, who lives in Clay, New York, TODAY.
“It could have gone south pretty quickly, but luckily I was able to take control,” said Nathan.
Lisa Bustin passed out behind the wheel. Credit: Via NBC
Bustin drove Nathan to ice hockey practice on January 3rd and was waiting for him in the car when he was hungry. It was dinner and she hadn’t eaten since lunch, so she looked around for something to eat, found a jar of peanuts, and ate three handfuls.
“I’m not a big peanut eater,” she said. “I almost never do that. They were in the car that day and I was hungry and just didn’t think about it because I never had a peanut allergy. “
When Bustin drove her son home after a workout, her hands and feet started tingling, and she felt her cheeks turn red, as if they were on fire, she remembered. But there was no swelling of her tongue or lips.
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“Her eyes rolled up and her head went back to the headrest.”
When Nathan saw his mother roll down the window for a breath, he knew something was wrong.
“Then her eyes rolled up and her head went back to the headrest,” he said. “As soon as she passed out, her hands simply fell, completely relaxed.”
Nathan grabbed the steering wheel in his left hand and dialed 911 with his right, he said. At first they drove fairly slowly, but then his mother’s body stiffened with her foot still on the accelerator, causing the car to accelerate to about 40 mph, he recalled. He concentrated on keeping the vehicle on the road as he maneuvered through the traffic.
The car eventually stopped when they ran into a slow-moving truck – a safer choice than hitting a metal bar, which was also in its trajectory, Bustin said after finding out the details later.
The accident shattered the front of her car and the airbags were deployed. Nathan jumped out and pulled his still unconscious mother out of the cabin, fearing the smoke from the airbags meant the car was on fire.
Nathan, second from right, grabbed the steering wheel and saved their lives. Credit: Delivery via NBC
The entire incident was over in less than a minute. Bustin remembers sitting in the grass and looking up when she came to. Mother and son were both fine, Nathan had a few scratches and Bustin was hurt and hurt.
She was taken to a hospital where a series of medical tests and scans revealed nothing wrong with her heart, she said. She did not suffer any broken bones or had a concussion. She hadn’t had a stroke.
According to Bustin, doctors found that the official cause of her fainting was an allergic reaction to peanuts – something Bustin didn’t even know she needed to worry about.
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“To think you could be an adult and develop allergies is a bit baffling.”
Most food allergies start in childhood but can also develop in adults – including those over 40 – even after they’ve eaten the food without any problems, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. The most common food allergies in adults are shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, and fish.
“We’re so used to hearing about allergies in young children and to think that you might be an adult and develop allergies is a little startling,” said Dr. Natalie Azar, NBC medical officer. “You can come out of nowhere.”
One study found that 25% of Americans with a food allergy first developed it as adults.
Another found that nearly half of adults with a food allergy were closer to the figure, suggesting that “in the United States, adults of all ages are allergic to a variety of allergens in adults.” It may be due to hormonal or immune system changes as people get older, but the exact reasons are unknown.
Bustin received an EpiPen prescription and carries this device along with Benadryl and the corticosteroid prednisone at all times. “If it ever happens again, I’ll be ready,” she said. She sees an allergist and avoids peanuts or foods that contain them.
One study found that 25% of Americans with a food allergy first developed it as adults. File image. Credit: Tim Grist Photography/.Getty Images
Bustin was grateful that there was no more traffic that day and that Nathan was thinking so quickly.
“He saved our lives,” she said. “I feel like God looked down on us and helped Nate direct.”
The eighth grader received a Cicero Police Department Life Saving Award.
“He’s done a great job,” said Steve Rotunno, chief of police in Cicero, New York. “However, this area of the highway can be difficult to maneuver. This could definitely have led to a different result. “
If you’re in a car with a driver who is faint, experts advise defying the urge to turn off the engine as it will mean losing power steering and brakes.
Instead, try shifting the transmission into neutral and stopping on the side of the road – if you have the time and space to do so. For a quicker stop, use the handbrake or try to reach the brake pedal with your foot.