Sky News presenter nearly dies from allergy

Sky News presenter Gemma Morris was holidaying in the ski resort of Filzmoos, in Austria, with her mother when she was rushed to A&E after eating a starter at her hotel's restaurant.

Gemma - who has a severe nut allergy - spent 24 hours in intensive care after staff at Hotel Bischhofsmutze gave her a pate-like appetiser which contained nuts.

The 27-year-old, who has been a presenter with Sky for three years, told how after just one mouthful she knew something was terribly wrong.
She said: 'I put a tiny piece of the terrine into my mouth, it couldn't have been any bigger than a centimetre squared.

'Suddenly my mouth began to tingle and immediately I knew exactly what was happening.'
Gemma has suffered from a severe nut allergy from an early age and always has to take extra care when eating out or ordering food.

But despite the assurances of the restaurant that the terrine didn't contain nuts, Gemma was suddenly experiencing a terrifying anaphylactic shock.

She said: 'I knew that there must have been nuts or nut oil somewhere in the dish. I ran straight upstairs to my hotel room and took an antihistamine.

'But by the time I got upstairs my lips had started to swell and my ears and throat were burning.

'Within minutes my symptoms had worsened and I began to panic. The reaction was accelerating faster than I had ever experienced.

'Angry red itchy hives were spreading across my entire body and my lips and eyes were swelling beyond recognition.

'I started to feel light headed and began to hyperventilate. At this point I rang my mother who was still downstairs and told her I needed a doctor urgently.

'By the time she got to our room my face had swollen beyond recognition, and my body was red raw with large hot welts.

'The paramedics arrived put me on a drip and carried me out of the hotel. We passed some friends we had met in the hotel earlier that day but they didn't even recognise me.'

Gemma was taken to the nearest hospital and spent the night in intensive care. She was discharged the next day and returned to the hotel, but her ordeal wasn't over yet.

'At dinner that night staff tried to serve me a fruit salad sprinkled with nut flakes. I was horrified,' said Gemma.

'For the remainder of the holiday I found meal times very distressing and survived mainly on fresh fruit, yoghurt and meat cooked without any kind of sauce. I was terrified that something would spark another allergic reaction.'
Gemma, from Richmond, in Surrey, now makes sure she takes extra precautions when booking a holiday.


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