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Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Has anybody seen the movie Hitch? I had never seen it and was struck by the seen where Will Smith's character, Alex Hitchens, has an allergic reaction to shellfish. Though the movie found humour in the swelling reaction and showed him drinking enough Benadryl to appear intoxicated, it was very bizarre to see an allergic reaction played out in a movie.

Part of the comedy came through the distortions that the swelling reaction caused in his ears and face. The scary part though was that our daughter's anaphylactic reaction also had grotesque swelling in her neck, face and hands ... she was not even recognizable.

I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry while watching the movie ... it was both funny and terrifying. It was truly bizarre how the scene made me feel. While Will Smith's antics were truly comical, recalling the image of my daughter lying on the bathroom floor was the antidote to humour.

Ann Munoz Furlong of FAAN summed this up well with the following quote:

"We hope not only does Hitch "get the girl," but he also needs to go see an allergist. He shows many of signs a major food allergic reaction. The next one could be even worse." said Anne Munoz-Furlong, Founder & CEO of FAAN. "It can be funny to watch in a movie, but if you are ever with someone experiencing a food allergic reaction it can be quite frightening. For those with food allergies, it is important to seek medical treatment immediately and to carry their epinephrine at all times."


Check My Tag said...

Yes, I saw it. In that scene, I wanted to laugh but I was also horrified... because it's not like that, you know? You can't just drink a bottle of Benadryl.

Maybe I'm just super-sensitive to the issue but I don't want my son to grow up in a world that laughs at something that can kill him.

Amy said...

I get very discouraged when movies and tv shows portray anaphylaxis/food allergies in this way. We, the food allergic community, work very hard to bring about education and awareness. I am sure that when the general population witnesses scenes like this it only works against our efforts. It would be a much better help if they would portray it correctly... talk about taking a village! That would be huge!