A mum today praised a quick-thinking pharmacist who she says may have saved her schoolboy son’s life after he suffered an extreme allergic reaction when using eyebrow wax.
Nicola Robinson was left panicking when son Alexander Gallon, 15, said he felt unwell after using the beauty product, which she had bought for herself.
She believes he went into anaphylactic shock as he struggled to breath and suffered from a swollen face.
Nicola rushed to Blue House Pharmacy, just yards away from the house she shares with her son, where pharmacist Valenti Georgiou was able to inject adrenaline into Alexander with an epipen.
Alexander was then taken by paramedics to the Queen Elizabeth (QE) Hospital in Gateshead where he was admitted for treatment.
“I’d bought some eyebrow wax for myself and Alexander decided to have a try,” said Nicola, 43, of Newington Court, close to Concord in Washington.
“He used it on himself then went out and a bit later he rang saying he wasn’t well.
“He came in the door and didn’t look right at all because his face was swollen up and then he began hyperventilating.
“I took him straight to the pharmacist and the chemist there ran in the back and got an adrenaline shot for him.”
Alexander, who goes to Washington Academy, said: “I went out for a bit after using the wax and that’s when my skin started to feel tight.
“I was itching a lot too so I didn’t really know what was happening.”
Alexander is now back at home and attending school following a night in the QE after which doctors discharged him.
“I was quite worried because they said that he’d have to be admitted as the symptoms can re-occur once the adrenaline wears off,” added Nicola.
“But after a few hours his face had come down and he was back to normal.
“He still stayed in for the night though.”
Nicola and Alexander say they publicly want to thank the staff at Blue House Pharmacy for their help during the incident.
“The people at the chemists are fantastic anyway but they might well have saved Alexander’s life,” said Nicola, who works as a cleaner at Usworth and Washington Gardeners Club.
“I didn’t expect anything like this to happen so I ran in in a bit of a state, but they helped us right away.
“I just want people to be aware that they have these facilities at chemists if they ever need them in a real emergency.”
Babar Arshad, owner of Blue House Pharmacy, said: “I heard about a pharmacist somewhere who refused to use one of these pens on a child who then died but I think you should help when you can.
“Things like this have happened before and we feel it’s our duty of care to provide assistance for a patient.
“We keep these items in stock so our pharmacist was able to react really quickly.
“It’s probably not what we are here for, but we are happy to help when we can.”