Sara Bradley story by Terry Yeager

Sara Bradley was born in Pittsburgh, PA. In fact, on her birthday, she will be 70 years old. She was born in Braddock Hospital and was a breach baby. She did not breathe until the doctor smacked her bottom. And then, she threw up all over the nun's white habit. The nurse called her a little devil and to this day, those close to her still call her "the little devil". Raised in the Pittsburgh area, she attended Baldwin High School and graduated in 1961. Then off to Robert Morse business school graduating with a degree in court stenography in 1963.

After several years in other positions, she began work for a medical practice and stayed there for 18 years. She is married and the proud parent of two girls. She moved to the York area in 1965 and began seeing her doctors here. Among other ailments, about 5 years ago, she was diagnosed with COPD. She had been severely allergic to sulfa, penicillin and peanuts since childhood. Because of her COPD, her doctor prescribed Spiriva which she took once a day in the morning. After three years, she began having troubling side effects. Her doctor then told her to stop using the Spiriva and substitute an inhaler.

She bought the medicine and when she got home and read the ingredients, she discovered it contained PEANUTS. Had she taken even one puff, she would have gone into anaphylactic shock and could have died right there. After recuperating from the near catastrophe, she took the inhaler back to the pharmacy and began asking questions. How could this happen? Didn't you know about my allergies? This problem needs to be addressed now! Didn't the doctor know better? The pharmacy did have her allergies on record and they did include peanuts. However, somehow, it slipped thru the cracks. Obvious apology was offered. The doctor said peanuts were not included in his notes therefore could not have known about this allergy.

In the meantime, Sara began thinking if something she did could have caused the problem. She thought about the questionnaires she filled out about her health problems including any allergies. To her horror, she realized that when answering what allergies she had, she was thinking medical allergies, not food allergies and of course, the questionnaire did not make a distinction. It was this fact that nearly caused her demise. Since then, she has been trying to get the questionnaires changed to include the right wording. To date, however, the problem has not been resolved.

Join the I Can! Challenge

Have diabetes or heart disease? Join the 12-week, step-by-step program to help you learn how to set goals, partner with your doctor, and incorporate healthy eating and exercise into your life. Like I Can! on Facebook!