College Student Killed by Peanut Allergy

Chandler Swink somehow came in contact with peanut butter at friend's apartment
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2014 9:29 AM CST
College Student Killed by Nut Allergy
Someone at the apartment baked peanut butter cookies.   (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

A 19-year-old college student in Michigan has died after accidentally coming into contact with peanut butter at a friend's apartment on Nov. 19. The Oakland Press reports that Chandler Swink was diagnosed at age two with the most severe level of nut allergy—level six. Someone at the apartment had made peanut butter cookies, and Swink's mother says the Oakland University sophomore either ate food that had somehow touched the cookies or was touched by someone who had peanut butter residue on his hands. Chandler, who hoped to become a nurse, injected himself with an EpiPen and then drove himself to St. Joseph Mercy Oakland where he was found, unconscious, in the parking lot around 1am. He was in a coma for a week, with doctors giving him a 2% chance of survival.

The university's paper reports he died at 8:45pm yesterday; it previously reported that his family had been wrestling over whether to take him off life support. Mom Nancy says Swink was bullied throughout his childhood for his allergy, which was so severe his school district went peanut-free for him, much to the displeasure of many. "When he went to college, he was the happiest kid because he was no longer labeled," she says. "Every person who has come to visit him has said that Chandler is the most caring, generous, funny, easy going man they’ve ever met. ...That's how he's lived his last two years." A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help the family. Says a friend, "His dad just had to have a kidney transplant ... so they've had a lot of medical costs recently." (What we do to peanuts may cause allergies, a study found.)

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