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Minnesota Vikings running back and NFL MVP Adrian Peterson is lucky to be alive.
In his first in-depth interview on the topic, Peterson said that he could hardly breathe after having a serious allergic reaction to seafood gumbo last summer at the Vikings training camp.
“I thought I was Superman until I experienced that life-changing anaphylactic shock,” Peterson told USA Today. “I was eating lunch and gobbled down a couple of bowls of gumbo. Then, 15 minutes later, I’m in my dorm room resting up. My eyes started itching and my throat was swelling up. I could barely breathe.”
His throat starting closing, so he called Vikings trainer Eric Sugerman, and told him something was very wrong and that it was quickly becoming a critical situation.
“I’m normally pretty good under pressure so I stayed calm, didn’t panic too much and just called to get the help I knew I needed,’” Peterson said.
Sugerman raced to Peterson’s room and injected him with an EpiPen to help him breathe. Peterson was rushed to a local hospital.
Sugerman’s fast action probably saved Peterson’s life. And now, Peterson has to avoid seafood.
“It’s a serious situation and it’s pretty common across the world,” Peterson said. “A lot of people can learn from my scare. Seafood was always my favorite food. I mean fried lobster? Come on. Once I found out shrimp, scallops and lobster were my allergic triggers, I had to change my diet.”
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, anaphylaxis is a potentially fatal allergic reaction to food, insect venom, drugs and latex. As many as 500 to 1,000 Americans die from it each year. In fact, 150 of those deaths are directly tied to food anaphylaxis. More than 41 million Americans are at risk.
Peterson now carries two EpiPens with him at all times, just in case. He has also decided to partner with Mylan Specialty L.P. — maker of the EpiPen auto injector that saved his life — as a spokesman for the Anaphylaxis Preparedness Campaign.
When you take Peterson’s health scare — combined with his 2012 season rushing for 2,097 yards and 12 touchdowns after coming back from a shredded ACL — he may very well be a medical miracle, Or, quite possibly, Superman.