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Audio Postcard: Problems with Pet Allergies

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 9:47 AM

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As part of our special coverage this week on "Attacking Allergies," Kathryn Baker produced this first-person "AUDIO postcard" from one young cat allergy sufferer in Parma Heights. Five year-old Emma and her mother Evelyn share their story.

EMMA
I loved Chase.  He was an orange and white cat and he had pointy ears.

EVELYN
We got our cat from a local shelter as an idea to kind of bring the family together something that the kids could take care of together because my middle son has a terminal illness called cystic fibrosis and we thought it would be something the kids could focus on outside of everything else that goes on.  The first thing we noticed was Emma started getting colds and sinus infections and ear infections and sinus infections and she was on multiple courses of different antibiotics and steroids and just constant trips to the doctors and she wasn’t getting better. 

EMMA
I would get sicker and sicker and cough.  One time I was coughing up mucus.

EVELYN
She gets itchy nose, itchy eyes and her symptoms are that of a severe cold.  She just gets very congested and has a hard time breathing.  Doctor Silver found her severe cat allergy by looking at blood work that had been done.  He said if we kept the cat Emma would continue to be sick so the only way to make Emma as healthy as she could be was to get rid of the cat to find him a new home.  It was hard.

EMMA
I loved him.  The only reason why we got rid of him is because I was sick.

EVELYN
It was very hard to take him back to the shelter because he was you know he was a rescue cat.  He had been in the shelter for a year before we got him.

EMMA
I felt really sad and I didn’t want to give him away.

EVELYN
Her grandparents on both sides have cats and Emma’s friends all have cats so it’s near impossible for Emma to go somewhere where there is not a cat….everybody has a cat or two. Her allergy to cats has made her life more difficult and it just makes us ..the other children….it made it hard for them to give up their pet.  And it makes us sad to see the kids sad and to see Emma have to go through so much just to be able to play at a friend’s house.

EVELYN FULLER AND HER DAUGHTER EMMA SMITH OF PARMA HEIGHTS.  THAT AUDIO POSTCARD WAS PRODUCED BY IDEASTREAM’S KATHRYN BAKER.  YOU CAN FIND LINKS TO ALL OUR SPECIAL COVERAGE OF ALLERGIES AT OUR WEBSITE W-C-P-N-DOT-ORG

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Health, Attacking Allergies

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