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Essex: Drama at 30,000 feet when Fae Patten, 4, suffers anaphylactic shock on board Ryanair flight because fellow passenger ignored warning not to eat nuts

14:56 15 August 2014

Fae, four, who has a severe nut allergy, went into anaphylactic shock on a flight back from a family holiday to Tenerife. Picture courtesy of Pete Lawson/East News.

Fae, four, who has a severe nut allergy, went into anaphylactic shock on a flight back from a family holiday to Tenerife. Picture courtesy of Pete Lawson/East News.

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A girl with a severe nut allergy fell unconscious on a plane after a selfish passenger ignored three warnings not to eat peanuts during the flight.

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Fae Platten, four, was just 20 minutes into a flight home from a holiday when the drama unfolded.

Fae, from West Bergholt, has an allergy so severe even the slightest contact can cause an angry rash and leave her fighting for breath.

Cabin crew on the Ryanair flight to Stansted Airport from Tenerife made three announcements warning of passengers onboard with allergies.

Nuts were not sold on the flight and passengers were asked not to open any they had brought with them.

But a man sitting four rows away from Fae’s family ignored the calls and opened a peanut packet, causing Fae’s face to immediately swell up.

Mum Katy, 30, rushed her daughter to the front of the plane but the air conditioning meant there was no escape from nut particles.

Fae’s mouth blistered up and the she went into anaphylactic shock, causing her body to become limp and her breathing laboured before she slipped into unconsciousness. A paramedic onboard gave a shot from Fae’s Jext Pen, carried with her at all times for such occasions.

It was the first time Fae had used the pen and thankfully it brought her back round instantly.

Mrs Platten, a nursery manager, said: “It was a nightmare and I was so scared for Fae, I was shaking.

“There were three very clear warnings yet this man ignored them all. He was a dad with two teenagers so he should have known better.

“I am so angry but my main priority was to make sure Fae was okay.”

On landing an ambulance rushed Fae to Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, where she was given steroids and observed for four hours.

Fortunately Fae, who was also travelling with older sister Izzy, six, and dad Dean, 31, suffered no long-term effects from the incident.

Mrs Platten hopes last Tuesday’s drama will raise people’s awareness.

She added: “I think people are a bit blase about allergies and this man didn’t take the warnings seriously.

“Fae has said she never wants to go on an aeroplane again and has had night terrors since the event.”

A Ryanair spokesman said: “Once Ryanair crew were informed of this customer’s allergy, a public address was made.

“As stated on our website, and advised to customers on board, Ryanair cannot guarantee a peanut free aircraft as other customers may bring their own peanut products on board.

“The passenger in question who caused this unfortunate incident has now been banned from flying with Ryanair for two years. Ryanair does not impose life bans.

“Ryanair is delighted to hear that the little girl is making a good recovery.”

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5 comments

  • Also, what people forget is that the air is recycled purely in order for Ryanair to save money - cheapskate Ryanair had a lot to do with it as well.

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    Guy Smythe

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

  • In spite of all that people here write about whether or not the man was the cause of the child's allergic response, the point is that he was requested NOT to open any nuts ... but he did. So the probability is that he may be responsible but anyway acted in a selfish and irresponsible way. The last time I tried to say on this right-wing local paper that Maggie Thatcher was wrong to say that "there is no thing as society" my comment was banned. Will her admirers at Archant do the same this time?

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    Johnthebap

    Friday, August 15, 2014

  • We readers can only go by the information provided by the EADT, which is minimal. How can anyone be sure the child's reaction was the result of any one particular cause? It could have been anything. If the child is so susceptible to an adverse reaction that is not clearly understood, then it is the responsibility of the parents to take every possible precaution when out in a public place. They should not fly for four hours or so, in a confined space where there is obvious risk. The airline food could have been a trigger. Or something the child ate hours before. There is no proof the man is at fault. And cabin crew are certainly not qualified to stand in judgment. It is clearly good that the child is safe. But the parents need to act responsibly at all times and not hinder members of the public from going about their normal business.

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    Rita WAG

    Friday, August 15, 2014

  • If the cabin crew had strictly asked all passengers not to open peanuts packets on this flight because of the child's allergic reaction then yes this person should have been banned, they also should be ashamed they caused this child so much suffering. I'm sure if the lady questioning the ban had been on the flight and it was her child she'd be extremely upset. Had the plane been diverted to another airport for an emergency landing Ryan Air could have had a massive bill for costs etc so I think they were 100% right to ban this passenger I'm sure he will think twice before disobeying the flight crews request in future.

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    Brenden Ward

    Friday, August 15, 2014

  • Should the man have been banned? Ryanair are not renowned for sensible judgment. Perhaps the mother was negligent.

    Report this comment

    Rita WAG

    Friday, August 15, 2014

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