Dan Newby, managing director of Dreamscape Gardens in Stockport, shares his story:
“As a professional gardener I’m outside for most of the day, so obviously am more at risk of stings than your average office-bound worker. I’d suffered a few wasp and bee stings that seemed more painful than you’d expect, but hadn’t thought much of it at the time, unaware of the potentially life-threatening risks of venom anaphylaxis.
“Then a couple of years ago I suffered a dangerously severe reaction to a wasp sting. I was trimming a hedge, when I felt a severe pain in the back of my leg. I knew I’d been stung, but the pain started to increase in intensity, and after a few minutes it was excruciating. I felt like I’d been shot in the leg and I began to feel very light-headed. My leg started to swell dramatically and my skin turned very red – it felt like it was on fire! I knew something was wrong so I went to A&E immediately.”
At hospital Dan was given adrenaline to counter the immediate effects of the wasp venom, and an antibiotic to prevent any risk of infection. Later he was prescribed adrenaline auto-injectors to be used in case of another serious sting, and informed of the potential risks of anaphylaxis. “After the Doctor explained the seriousness of venom anaphylaxis, and that quite often reactions to stings become progressively worse, I started to take this seriously!
“I try to remember to carry my auto-injectors wherever I am, but I do worry that I might be stung and not have one immediately to hand. I’m now a firm supporter of the Anaphylaxis Campaign which aims to increase awareness of this condition and when we exhibited our show garden at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park this year I was filmed for their ‘Bee Resistant’ video campaign. My 15 seconds of fame!”
For further information contact: Sharon Byrne – firstname.lastname@example.org – 07711 475350