Family petitions for more allergy clinics in Quebec after daughter’s death

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The family of a teenage girl from the Outaouais who died suddenly of a serious allergic reaction is asking the Quebec government to create an allergy clinic in each region to prevent their tragedy from happening again.

On the night of June 25, 15-year-old Sarah-Émilie Hubert suffered a severe allergic reaction. She was allergic to milk and eggs.

After administering an EpiPen – a spring-loaded injector containing epinephrine that is often prescribed to people with severe allergies – her father Stéphane Hubert and mother Lyne Robert took her to the emergency room as she continued to experience breathing difficulties.

Resuscitation attempts by hospital staff proved unsuccessful and Sarah-Émilie Hubert was pronounced dead a few hours later.

Sarah-Émilie Hubert was aware of the dangers posed by her allergies. She even made anaphylaxis the subject of a high school project. (Rebecca Kwan/Radio Canada)

« Since my daughter died, I can’t do anything anymore, » said Stéphane Hubert.

Following the death of their daughter, the family asks the province to open allergy clinics in each region.

« We need someone to make this happen, » he said.

As of this writing, the petition has garnered over 500 signatures.

“We need these services,” Hubert said in French. “Sarah-Émilie would have liked to have these services.

« These are things that exist, that work. I don’t know what we’re waiting for… It can save lives. »

The dangers of a severe allergy were clear

Sarah-Émilie Hubert was aware of the dangers posed by her allergies.

She even made anaphylaxis, the immune reaction to an allergen that can cause breathing difficulties and low blood pressure, the subject of a high school project where she lamented the lack of allergy resources in the area. .

Currently, the closest clinic to Quebec is located at Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center to Montreal.

« We say to ourselves now [that] we should have moved to Montreal,” her father said in an earlier French-language interview with Radio-Canada, less than two weeks after his daughter’s death.

« We had hoped that things would develop in the Outaouais, » added Robert. « That’s what we told Sarah-Émilie. There are some in Montreal, it’s going to happen in Gatineau, it’s going to come. »

sarah emilie hubert baseball items
Hubert had nurtured a passion for baseball from an early age. The teenager died suddenly after suffering an allergic reaction in the middle of the night. (Rebecca Kwan/Radio Canada)

The Outaouais allergy clinics did not come quickly enough for their daughter.

In a French-language statement emailed to Radio-Canada, the Outaouais public health authority said that while the region has access to two allergy specialists, services could be improved.

« Work is currently underway, » the statement read.

Clinics can help prevent future tragedies

Family physician Dr. Peter Lin said allergy clinics can provide specialized, dedicated care for people with severe or complex allergies, which could have long-term benefits for those patients and the healthcare system. as a whole due to the reduction in tension. on emergency rooms.

« In a specialized center, they would have all this information and it would be easy for them to put it together, » Lin said.

« So it might cost money to set it up…in the long run it’s actually going to save money and maybe save lives. »

Lin said an added benefit of more allergy clinics would be a much larger data set with which to conduct allergy research, potentially allowing medical professionals to predict a young person’s allergies based on his family history.

He sees “tremendous potential…in terms of predicting allergies and making sure people never have that horrific event where someone is lost to an allergic reaction.”

Commemorated by the community, the team

Sarah-Émilie Hubert had a passion for baseball from an early age. His team honored him in a recent game and will wear a sticker on his batting helmet in memory of his teammate for the rest of the season.

Maryse Gaudreault, MP for the riding of Hull, agreed to meet the family in early August. She said she would also attend Sarah-Émilie’s funeral to support the family.

Gaudreault presents the family’s petition for more allergy clinics to the provincial legislature. The petition will remain open for new signatures on the site of the National Assembly of Quebec until the end of August.

sarah emilie hubert poster
Sarah-Émilie Hubert’s baseball team plans to wear a sticker on her batting helmet in memory of her teammate for the remainder of the season. (Rebecca Kwan/Radio Canada)

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