By Jessica Defreitas

#OhhMoments: Ashley Hansen shares her son's story and the importance of allergy awareness

In today's #OhhMoments, Ashley Hansen shares her son's experiences with food allergies and discusses the importance of allergy awareness and education.

"My name is Ashley, I’m from and I am the mother to a 7 year old smart, outgoing son named Frank. 

6 years ago I discovered Frank's nut allergy after he came into contact with some celery and peanut-butter. 

His face and lips swelled up, he started to break out into hives in addition his breathing became labored. I have never felt so afraid in my life!

I called 911 and was told to give him Benadryl to slow down the shock his body had gone into. THANK GOD it worked, when the EMT’s arrived he was taken to the hospital for observation. 

Fast forward a few weeks later after getting all the proper testing done it was confirmed, he was level 6 allergic to ALL nuts, seeds, plus coconut, and cotton seed oil. 

All of our lives changed at that moment forever! 

Eating out has now become minimal and limited to maybe 2 or 3 restaurants. I am always on high alert and very anxious when we are eating out, it’s never been the same. 

I worry for him 24/7 even when he’s in the same room as me. 

Since then I have lucky only had to use the EpiPen one time on him. It was Easter Frank took it upon himself and with the help of another family member they opened the candy he thought didn’t contain nuts but sadly it did. At that moment I knew I had to keep my eyes on him at all times, as not everyone fully understood the severity of his allergies. 

That was a pretty scary experience to say the least. He had the same adverse reaction as before, but by the grace of god he was okay after I injected him with the Epi Pen. 

Now that Frank is in school I have had some not so fun run ins with front office staff and substitute teachers. It makes me sick, sad, worried and just all around nervous when I feel his condition is either brushed off, or down played. What I’ve had to express time and time again to the substitute teacher is just because you don’t see nuts, doesn’t mean it is nut free. 

There was a situation where an unlabeled vanilla ice cream was brought into the class for a party. She didn’t check, or call the front office to make sure it was deemed safe for Frank.  Again, god was on his side and he was okay after eating it. 

On a lighter note I am super excited about this new yummy Ohh! Foods allergy friendly snack on the market. I know Frank will find great pleasure in having something safe, plus tasty for him to munch on at school, home or even while we travel. 

Thank you to the CEO for coming up with such a great product for everyone with food allergies to enjoy." - Ashley

We want to know what you feel needs to be done to ensure that everyone is more allergy conscience, aware and educated? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!


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