Ban nuts on planes to save others from suffering the same fate as Amy
With holiday flights at their peak, the row about serving nuts on planes has risen its head again.
Like many people, you may think your choice of snack shouldn’t be curtailed just because one in 55 children has a peanut allergy.
But this week on This Morning we have heard stories to scare, shock and horrify. Imagine living with the time bomb of not knowing where and when you could be contaminated? Where a few particles of dust could close your airway in the middle of a flight at 36,000ft?
Remember, the air you breathe on a plane is not fresh. It may be filtered but it has been recycled and recirculated over and over again.
Open a bag of nuts, lift them out with your fingers, see, feel and smell the residue – small in size but possibly devastating in consequence.
The nut problem is a story and a cause all too familiar to me. Amy May Shead was a beautiful, talented, effervescent young woman who worked with Ruth and me on the This Morning production team. I tutored her in her job, and we laughed and joked every day.
That has all stopped because Amy May has ended up paralysed and brain damaged because of exposure to nut traces. I cannot begin to tell you how her life, and the lives of her amazing parents Roger and Sue, has changed.
Now they want airlines to stop serving or carrying nut products. Amy’s exposure wasn’t on a plane but illustrates in the worst way what can happen.
Up to two million people in Britain know it could happen to them. The interview featuring Amy and her parents has been watched over two million times on Facebook and has made headlines around the world all week. But watching is not enough.
It’s time for action, so we asked This Morning viewers to cast their vote in a poll. The result was resounding – 96% supported nuts being banned on planes.
Seeing Amy May and the result of a food allergy has shocked people , big time. She is the personification of the consequences of the worst form of a nut intolerance.
She could have died and her parents have to live with the fear that she still could. Like so many others, why do they have to live with that heightened fear?
I also met a 14-year-old boy with the same severe allergy. He was on an international flight with his parents, who asked airline staff to ban nuts from the plane – but somewhere over the Atlantic, he hyperventilated in sheer panic because he could see a fellow passenger open a bag of nuts.
Imagine being his helpless mum and dad having to watch that? Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, nowhere to breathe? Thankfully, this time nothing happened to him.
Amy May is just 27 and has spent three of those years severely disabled because not enough people or organisations take food allergy seriously.
Excess booze on a plane is taken seriously, so is smoking, chanting, singing and disruptive behaviour. Surely it doesn’t get more disruptive than choking to death en route?
The airlines and The Civil Aviation Authority dodge the issue. They’re not sure they can police it.
So, folks, please do without – for Amy. Is your holiday really going to be ruined because you can’t have a bag of peanuts on a flight to Malaga?
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