One drop of ice cream almost killed little Lacey

A DROP of ice cream almost killed Lacey Hetherington when she was just three months old.

Cradled in the arms of her breastfeeding mum, Kailie Hetherington, a small splash of the dairy product Ms Hetheringon was eating triggered the little girl's first anaphylactic reaction.

Lacey's face swelled slightly and a red mark developed, prompting Ms Hetherington to take her daughter to the doctor, where the rash quickly spread across her tiny body.

"The doctor listened to her chest and immediately administered the adrenalin and oxygen. More doctors filled the room," Ms Hetherington said.

"People were checking her breathing, her heart and her blood pressure. I still did not understand what was going on but the doctors did.

Kailie Hetherington and her daughter Lacey Foster, nearly 2, of Evans Head. Lacey is highly allergic to several different foods, such as dairy, eggs, peanuts, soy, and tomatoes.
Kailie Hetherington and her daughter Lacey Foster, nearly 2, of Evans Head. Lacey is highly allergic to several different foods, such as dairy, eggs, peanuts, soy, and tomatoes. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

"Lacey had had an anaphylactic reaction to the ice cream on her cheek."

Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction, which is quick to develop and potentially deadly.

Lacey, now 20 months old, lives with severe food allergies, prompting her mum to crowdfund a business selling allergy t-shirts.

"I started this business because my daughter attended childcare for a short time when she was a baby and the centre, and I, wanted to have her in a shirt that would easily make her recognisable to staff and parents," Ms Hetherington said.

"There was nothing small enough or with the right words on it for her specific allergies.

"Contact allergies and anaphylaxis are no fun when food is around and since food is everywhere our little people with allergies need to stand out but, more importantly, for people to understand not to feed them or come into contact with them without at least washing their hands."

Lacey is known to be allergic to dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish, shellfish, raw tomatoes and (yet to be confirmed) tapioca, but there is chance her allergies will lessen as she ages.

The mum of four has become hyper attentive of Lacey's surroundings and find it difficult to relax, especially in public.

"It's really stressful. Basically, in our home we can manage pretty well, but there's a lot to manage when we go out," she said.

"We've restructured where we can go and what we can do.

"Most people don't understand. Everyone always wants to touch her and I'm always having to stop people.

"But they don't understand and think I'm just being overbearing or something.

"There is much to do in educating people on allergies and anaphylaxis."



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