Bethenny Frankel Is Still in the 'Recovery Process' After Near-Fatal Allergic Reaction to Fish
The Real Housewives of New York star talked to Dr. Oz about her life-threatening allergy
The Real Housewives of New York star, 48, talked to Dr. Mehmet Oz on Thursday’s episode of The Dr. Oz Show about her life-threatening fish allergy and the incident on Dec. 16 when she went unconscious and had to be rushed to the hospital after eating soup that turned out to contain fish.
“I really am [a lucky lady],” Frankel said of her survival. “I’m doing okay. I’m doing better. I didn’t think it would be as much of a recovery prosses. I think people think you sort of slap in an EpiPen and life goes on. It’s definitely a scary thing.”
Frankel, who said she’s “been really home a lot” over the last month and a half, explained that this allergic reaction was the most severe she’s ever had.
“My whole entire life, since I was born, I’ve been allergic to fish,” she said. “In my adult life I’ve had two hospital experiences before this one, not near-death. A couple a times a year I have a reaction of some sort. It could be swelling or hives or something … Because [the reaction] never got to a 10 [in severity], it got to maybe a 6 or a 8, I just didn’t realize I could die from it.”
The Skinnygirl mogul said that it’s frustrating when people don’t take food allergies seriously.
“You say in a restaurant that you have an allergy and multiple people come over and sometimes people won’t serve you and everyone makes a big deal and now I realize it is a big deal. But there’s a little bit of shame in getting so much attention and people rolling their eyes and thinking, ‘Oh god, here we go,’ “ she said. “Because a lot of people say that they have allergies and they have intolerances. Everyone now says their gluten-free and dairy-free, so people don’t really believe the people who really have an allergy.”
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Frankel appeared on the show with Jody and Steven Jean-Pierre, whose 11-year-old son Cameron died of an apparent allergic reaction after smelling cooking fish. He was also allergic to fish.
Steven told Frankel, Oz and the audience about Cameron’s last hours on New Year’s Day.
“He just walked over to me and he said, ‘Daddy, I need a nebulizer,’ which is a normal thing,” Steven explained. “And maybe two minutes after, he said, ‘Daddy I don’t feel the oxygen. It’s not working.’ So now I panicked, like something’s wrong, and I told everyone to call the ambulance. He took off the mask and said, Daddy, I want to tell you something. Daddy, I love you.’ He reached over to me because he was sitting down on the bed and he gave me two kisses and he said, ‘Daddy, I feel like I’m dying,’ and I said, ‘Why would you say that? Don’t say that.’ I believe that he really knew he was dying, because right after that he passed out. I just checked his pulse and put my head on his heart and laid him down and I just started doing CPR.”
Cameron went unconscious before the ambulance arrived, and died at the hospital.
“Everyone said that I was strong but I feel that Cameron was stronger,” Steven said. “Just for the fact that he took off the machine and told me what he said to me there, I just can’t believe it.”