Mother of two Sonia Bagga, 39, went into anaphylactic shock after eating an in-flight snack
British Airways has been plunged into a second allergy storm after a mother-of-two came within seconds of death after eating an in-flight snack.
Sonia Bagga, 39, went into anaphylactic shock and stopped breathing after just two bites of a chicken wrap that she didn’t know contained sesame seeds.
Now Mrs Bagga is taking legal action, saying that the airline behaved negligently as the labelling on the wrap did not list the ingredients.
Doctors later told the sales and events executive from Wokingham, Berkshire, that she was lucky not to have died, or ended up with brain damage.
Mrs Bagga said: ‘I thought I was going to die in front of my husband and two children.
‘I couldn’t breathe. It was like someone had tied a rope around my neck and was pulling it tighter. It was the most frightening experience of my life.’
She stopped breathing after just two bites of a chicken wrap that she didn’t know contained sesame seeds. She was saved by the swift action of a young female doctor on board
She was saved by the swift action of a young female doctor on board who saw Mrs Bagga had stopped breathing.
She found Mrs Bagga’s emergency EpiPen containing adrenaline in her handbag and injected her.
Mrs Bagga went to hospital for checks after the jet landed.
The terrifying episode took place in September, two weeks before an inquest heard how 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse collapsed on a BA flight and died of cardiac arrest following a severe allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger baguette which had sesame seeds in it.
Like Natasha, Mrs Bagga’s allergy began when she was a toddler. ‘In 39 years I’d been on top of it,’ she said.
Her flight home to Heathrow came after a £7,500 week-long holiday in Dubai with her husband Raj, 44, and their sons aged 14 and ten.
Before boarding, Mrs Bagga says she told check-in staff about her allergy. ‘I said, ‘Just to let you know, I’m allergic to sesame seeds.’
‘They seemed to note it and I felt confident.’
The incident occurred just two weeks before the inquest of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse 15, died after she fell ill on a British Airways flight after eating a sandwich at Heathrow Airport two years ago
She had already eaten the main on-board meal and was feeling fine when, an hour before landing, she was offered the wrap.
‘It had no label apart from saying chicken shawarma. I didn’t ask staff what was in it as I thought that if it was something serious like nuts or sesame seeds, a label would say or staff would tell us.’
She pulled it apart and saw no sign of seeds but after the second bite something didn’t seem right.
‘My throat was feeling tighter and tighter and the tingling was coming on quicker,’ she said.
‘I found a stewardess and told her I was having a reaction and was finding it hard to breathe. I was begging for antihistamine.
‘Then suddenly I felt my legs go to jelly and I just fell to the floor holding my throat, wheezing and gasping.
‘I was panicking and thinking I didn’t want to die. I was lucky there was a doctor on board.
‘I don’t think BA staff knew what they were doing when faced with my emergency.
‘I’ve been told that had the injections not been given at the right time, I could have been brain-damaged or even died.’
She added: ‘I can’t understand why BA can’t label their food. They have a duty of care.
‘The wrap came in a plain package with no warnings about a potential allergic reaction or details of ingredients. That usually means they are plain and safe for people with allergies.’
A British Airways spokesman said: ‘We were first informed of our customer’s allergy when our cabin crew were notified that she had suffered a reaction from her meal.
‘They immediately sought medical support on board, medication was administered and they arranged for paramedics to meet the aircraft.
‘We urge anyone who suffers from a severe allergy to contact our passenger medical clearance unit before flying.’