Felled by a veal terrine: Sky News presenter reveals how she nearly died from allergy while on ski holiday
Skiing holidays are often accompanied by fears of broken bones or brutal hangovers. But for Gemma Morris, the real danger came at dinner time.
The Sky News presenter was holidaying in the ski resort of
Filzmoos, in Austria, with her mother when she was rushed to A&E
after tucking into 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.
Allergy sufferer: Sky News presenter Gemma Morris was on a ski
holiday with family in Austria when a hotel served her a nutty terrine
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.
Family emergency: Gemma had to call her mother, also pictured, and ask her to get a doctor when she started reacting to the 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.
'/02/06/article-2097127-119C66B0000005DC-113_634x429.jpg” width=”634″ height=”429″ alt=”The Hotel Bischofsmutze in Filzmoos, which twice served Gemma dishes containing nuts” class=”blkBorder” />
The Hotel Bischofsmutze in Filzmoos, which twice served Gemma dishes containing nuts
She said: 'I've been back to an allergy specialist since the incident who has told me never to holiday anywhere too far away from a hospital. I also make sure that I carry adrenaline pens with me wherever I go.'
Lindsey McManus, Deputy Chief Executive, for Allergy UK said: 'Gemma's experience highlights just how severe food allergy can be.
'It's not unusual for sufferers to experience anaphylactic shock after eating a tiny amount of the trigger food. But it's not just the physical implications those with food allergy have to live with. Many allergy sufferers find their condition has a deeper social impact.'