College Student Dies From Nut Allergy

By Shelly Garcia

While on spring break from Bryant University in Rhode Island, 19-year-old Cameron Groezinger-Fitzpatrick was killed by a severe nut allergy after eating only half a cookie with, evidently, just a slight trace of peanut oil. With one Epi-Pen out of reach and one expired, his mother was forced to be content with calling 911. After being rushed to the emergency room and undergoing two hours of CPR by doctors, Cameron was pronounced dead. His hysteric mother stayed with him for four hours after this, refusing to leave the room. “For 19 years, he had been knock-on-wood safe,” she said, “It came out of nowhere.”

Having been knowingly diagnosed with a nut allergy since he was eight, Cameron had always been exceptionally careful by making sure to read food labels, as well as constantly question food servers. However, apparently there was no peanut oil listed in the ingredients of the cookie that killed him. This fact inevitably begs the question, “How can food companies include any nut products without clearly noting it?” A study by Harvard professor Dr. Nicholas Christakis shows that over 3 million Americans have a nut allergy, but only approximately 150 of them die each year because of it. You would think the majority of those deaths would be a result of momentary carelessness by the consumer; however, Cameron’s case proves that food companies may sometimes be the ones to blame.

Although she claims she will never heal from this life-altering event, Mother Robin Fitzpatrick advises those who are burdened with a nut allergy, “Be your biggest advocate.”