HealthBeat: Life threatening wasp sting

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A local man ended up hospitalized on a ventilator on Sunday, but it’s not from what you may think.

Their name alone is enough to scare you.

Cicada killer wasp, but don’t let their name fool you– typically a sting from these insects will only leave you with a painful bump. That is unless you’re allergic.

“I felt some itch on my back, I couldn’t get it. So I got up and went over to a tree. And I started rubbing on the tree, came back and sat down and then I start coughing a little bit,” Terry Shantz said.

While spending some time outdoors with his family, Terry Shantz, who is allergic to bees and wasps had just been stung twice, without realizing it.

“Then my lips started swelling up and I said, get the ambulance come,” Terry said.

The Redfield, South Dakota native was taken to the hospital and later airlifted to Avera in Aberdeen.

“They ended up intubating him, you know, putting a tube down his throat for breathing, which took a nice little bit of work because his throat and his tongue was so swollen and his throat was pretty close to being shut,” Kandi Shantz said.

His daughter Kandi, a certified EMT, says he was placed on a ventilator– a sight she describes as traumatizing.

“It’s one thing to see it on another person, but when it’s your father, it was kind of… whereas my mom’s case, her husband, it was very scary,” Kandi said.

Once stable, Terry was able to go home just a few days later.

The family says they’re grateful for everyone who played a role in saving his life, because without their help the situation could’ve resulted in an entirely different story.

“We wouldn’t be talking,” Terry said.

“I honestly didn’t think he was gonna make it to the hospital, to be honest with you,” Kandi said.

The experience now has them calling for anyone with allergies to carry an EpiPen at all times.

“I think if my dad would have had one, probably… would’ve been able to buy him a little bit more time. It wouldn’t have been as aggressive,” Terry said.

Terry now has two EpiPens, and is spending his recovery at home surrounded by his family.

For more information on EpiPens, click here.

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