Cody Hardy (DOD: 11/21/2013)
Cody was 17 years old when he passed away as a result of his allergy to milk. He was known to be a young man pushing hard against his boundaries; his disposition described as 'headstrong' supplemented by 'invincible'. Under the belief that he would likely outgrow his severe milk allergy by age 18, he began cautiously trying new foods.
At the time of his death, he worked at Subway. Two weeks prior to his fatal allergic reaction, while standing in the family kitchen, he announced to his mom that he had tried some of the sauces at work including creamy chipotle. When his mom discouraged him sharply, he said that he was fine, it just 'made his throat hurt'. In retrospect, his mom believes that he was attempting to slowing desensitize himself.
Cody had his first allergic reaction around 6-8 months of life. Over the next year and a half, until a diagnosis was made, he had about 6 emergency room visits. Once, he ate mashed potatoes with dairy and suffered a reaction so severe he required resuscitation. His mom reported that they had just arrived at the hospital, he was crying at check in but quickly became inconsolable and fell limp in her arms. He was immediately taken into the ER, CPR followed. Finally, it was understood he was allergic to all dairy; he could not tolerate baked milk nor more raw forms of milk such as yogurt, cheese, ice cream or liquid milk.
Cody was 'was not going to let anything or anyone tell him what he couldn't do'. Another reaction occurred in 4th grade when he consumed a bean and cheese burrito at school because 'he wanted to be like the other kids'. He refused to tell the nurse or the firemen who came to his aid that he had eaten cheese. In fact, it took about 1 month for a confession to his mom to take place. His mom felt he was embarrassed about his allergy even though his friends were very supportive and protective of him.
On the night of his fatal reaction, he returned home from work, changed and grabbed his BMX bike, headed out to a local park. A little while later, from his cell phone, he called 911. He was trying to talk, while riding his bike, but repeatedly hung up on the dispatcher. The dispatcher could not understand him and the disconnections happened presumably in frustration. EMS was alerted and began searching for him. About 10-15 minutes later, they found him in the park, next to his bike. His mom reports he had asphyxiated on his own vomit. Forty-five minutes of CPR ensued. He had no ID on him. A friend happened to called his mobile phone, the police answered and soon the detective was at the family's door. Since Cody had known a bit of trouble, his mom's initial reaction was to be angry, thinking he would be sheepishly standing with the police when she opened the door. Instead, she was met with a plainclothed cop saying Cody was hurt. Cody had drunk about 16oz of strawberry milk while sitting in the park and suffered a severe allergic reaction. When his mom entered the ICU, she knew immediately that he was gone. He had suffered an anoxic brain injury and was showing no activity. He stayed on life support for 2-3 days before they let him go.
At the time of Cody's death he also had poorly controlled asthma. He was taking albuterol as needed but he needed it often. He was not on a controller medication with regularity. At earlier points in his life, he carried his epinephrine auto-injector and albuterol inhaler but he did not have them available on the night of his fatal allergic reaction.
From His Mom
His mother loved him, describing him as her 'little buddy and he knew it'.