Moment of Silence Event Announcement
Take a moment on Halloween at 4 pm ET / 3 pm CT
Each year, I invite all via social media, to share a moment of silence in honor of my son Joseph DeNicola, who faced his last anaphylaxis reaction to milk protein on Halloween 2014 he was 7 sacred years old.
This is a moment for all of you, to stop and raise awareness and share a moment in his honor, with all of our friend’s and family, our extended family in the community, all of you. We are all healing together, and we all miss Joseph so very much.
I am asking for support on the day my son fought his hardest battle, faced our deepest fear. As a parent, I know most cannot even understand the trauma associated with thinking of what he faced, felt and we will not understand until we all take our last breath. I lost my son, my love of my life and I would never wish this pain and deep emotional heartache of it all on anyone. But he faced much worse, so my angel gives me the strength to carry on.
So I ask, PLEASE listen for a few moments and read how your one moment can save lives.
Never will I allow the lessons we have faced, to be unheard to not help the next.
Please… our experience is a call to helping the next. Please find our current event on our facebook page In Loving Memory of Joseph DeNicola. Feel free to post your little ones pictures and leave a blessing or message, we do love to hear from all. It brings happiness on a very hard day for us all.
When we are all ready to run out the door to start ringing for treats, I ask you to stop for 1 moment and think of Joseph.
Joseph at 7 , on Halloween 2014 went from having a wonderful day to facing his last. We love those great Halloween pictures and memories. He was glowing that day in his favorite Pokémon costume. I cannot tell you how many years he wanted to be the same and he was, my Joe. Joseph loved so many things about nature, space, fish, he was beyond his years. You can read more in detail: Josephs Story and I also attempted to help share his spirit, in a children’s book through my grief that you can find here: “THE GREAT UMPKIN PRINCE”
Off to start his day with a school party and parade as in his last photo you can see that brightness. After school running from door to door ringing bells. Everyone knew of his allergies and so did his school, friends, and family. This was not new for Joseph. He never complained, but knew what he could have and what he could not have, too. He was a very responsible and respectable young man, my son and I am not just saying that because I am his mom. One smile and he had your heart. He loved all, I can honestly say that he was heaven on earth, a glimpse a gift to all of us. He noticed everyone, and he cared and cherished everyone with pure love. This world lost a great one, again not because I am his mom, if you knew Joe, you just felt love around you.
It is not a myth that Anaphylaxis must be treated right away because it can cause death. Yes, you are at risk too. Those already aware of their allergies have a better chance of survival. Annual testing should always be completed. If determined to have an allergy by allergists do not leave without an autoinjector. Keep that autoinjector renewed each year. Expired autoinjectors caused death.
Within moments coming in contact with his allergen Joseph was having trouble breathing. He was placed on his asthma treatment before receiving his autoinjector at on site of breathing trouble. He was past those few moments, that the autoinjector could have saved his life. He was then given a second autoinjector. Since he was not responding to the first. It is then and within those few moments and incorrect steps the lesson. Just do it. Do not debate, if you know you have been in contact with an allergen please just use your ONLY life saving medicine. PLEASE…..
He was rushed by car to the hospital, just a few minutes away. Too long with his airways closed (click here and read), he went into cardiac arrest. ALWAYS CALL 911 they can help with treatment before arriving at the hospital, please. Always call 911. It is then and within those steps the second lesson.
The miracle workers I call them, the doctors and nurses they revived him enough to place him on life support, but it had already been late without oxygen. His brain started to shut down. We spent the next few days watching and praying with thousands of you as his cells shutting and miracle medicines attempting to take replace those parts of the brain failing. With thanks to family and friends, we had beyond doctors coming in from all over, specialists. They sat with us in group settings, to explain the state each day.
We had now only moments left, he battled beyond to stay alive. I never left his side holding him and talked to him in his ear the whole time about heaven and angels. How can we comfort our child at this time, to prepare them for what we have not experienced, it is the hardest discussion to have and one I hope you never have to. As many of you came to visit and gave support. I am still there, it is still very much “day one” grieving parents call it for this mom. This world is not in any way the same, each day getting up is a battle, days are now labeled bad or good not M-F. So please, I ask all of you. Please be prepared….
Being prepared means……..
Everyone should know the signs of Anaphylaxis.
Awareness Read more here: Be Aware of Symptoms of Anaphylaxis; Severe Anaphylaxis and Asthma
So please take a moment this Halloween and remember :
- We are ALL responsible for preparing a safe day. No one wants to harm a child, let us hold empathy to offering a choice when they ring.
- Ask before you offer. When a child runs ahead of their parents or family or friends to be first at the next door, let us ask ” Are you allergic to anything”. Then offer a choice.
- Think ahead to having a choice. A few nonfood items can make a great substitute to a moment that can add value for many.
- Be prepared. Carry 2 – epinephrine and your cell phone.
- Know who will be with your child, are they prepared to help, do they know the signs? Stop ahead of Halloween to have a one on one with whoever is with your child, even if you have spoken about this before. Tell the story of my son, Joseph.. If a reaction takes place have the tools needed and use in this order. AUTO-INJECTOR FIRST before all other medications IF you suspect a severe allergic reaction, call 911! Always use epinephrine fast and first if you are at risk of life threating Anaphylaxis
- Read all labels. Not all labels are the same. Some products come in bigger sizes and are labeled one way, others come in smaller sizes with an entirely different label. Read the labels every single time.
- Have wipes on hand to wipe down faces, little hands and anything else your child may come in contact with. Make sure to accompany your child door to door, they should not be handling items if they are not old enough to know what they cannot have. Be the one to hold the treat bag.
- Make it a day that you visit homes that are participating in the TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT, interactive map outlines all homes in your area. Here is the current interactive map: Teal Pumpkin Project Interactive Map
- Host a truck o treat, organize a safe time if you are aware of a location that is willing to allow the event, you can make a wonderful day for so many if you organize. Learn more HERE: Host a Trunk O Treat
- Have fun! Make treasured memories, take lots of pictures 🙂 !!!!!
Receiving his auto-injector in time in those prior years saved his life, as his mother I watched him recover before me. The last reaction, his father had placed him on his nebulizer first to treat his asthma, as it was not working, then his auto-injector. He did the best of what he knew in the moment for Joseph.
Time was the difference, auto-injectors work for severe asthma too. So please be prepared and act fast. Know the signs of severe reactions. You can learn more at AAFA.org
Many have asked for a brochure to hand out and share Joseph’s story on Halloween. Please feel free to print the following to help the next. JosephDeNicola.com Halloween Handout Brochure
I wish all a safe and healthy Halloween. Stop on that day, and think about Joe. I am sure he is walking right next to you all. Smiling.. Blessings and Love to you all.
Joseph, Mommy loves you!