An 11-year-old girl with multiple allergies died after a reaction to a milk-based toothpaste.
Denise Saldate, from West Covina, California, was diagnosed with a milk allergy when she was only 1 year old. According to Allergic Living, she could not properly digest breast milk or other dairy products, not even substitutes based on soybeans.
Her parents, Monique Altamirano and José Saldate, received EpiPens, an emergency auto-injector to administer adrenaline and stop anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction that can be fatal because it causes the airways to shut down.
Also, to make sure that the girl didn’t suddenly have an allergic reaction, her parents always read carefully the labels of the products and foods that Denise was going to consume.
Monique said she cried with worry every time she left her daughter in the care of someone else for fear that they would not consider the girl's allergies as a serious matter that could put her life in danger.
However, despite all precautions, Denise's parents never imagined that milk could be an ingredient in toothpaste, so they allowed the girl to use MI Paste One, a product her dentist prescribed.
According to Yahoo, the child was excited to use that "special" toothpaste for the white spots on her teeth, since that dental hygiene product was supposed to strengthen her enamel and make her teeth look better.
Although the product had the warnings printed on the front and back of the tube indicating that the toothpaste contained Recaldent, the family didn’t know that this ingredient was a protein derived from milk.
On April 4, Denise went to brush her teeth before sleeping like any other child when she suddenly ran to her parents to tell them that she could not breathe. They realized when they saw her that her lips were already blue because of the lack of oxygen.
The mother quickly called 911 and started doing chest compression on the girl, a technique she had learned in first aid training for her previous job as a school bus driver.
However, all efforts to save the little girl were in vain and unfortunately, Denise died that night.
After her death, Denise's uncle created a page in GoFundMe that since then has accumulated more than 23 thousand dollars in donations to cover the funeral services of the girl.
In the midst of the pain of her daughter's death, Denise's parents said that raising awareness is "the only thing that makes sense." According to her father, the girl was a born leader who dreamed of being a veterinarian, a news producer and having her own restaurant.
"Denise wanted to change the world, but it is heartbreaking how she is doing it," said her mother.
This tragic story reminds us of a 15-year-old named Natasha Ednan-Laperouse who died from an allergic reaction after eating a Pret A Manger sandwich aboard a British Airways flight.
The teenager was allergic to sesame seeds but the ingredient hadn't been listed on the package, causing her to collapse on the plane.