A Michigan mother tells Allergic Living her 19-year-old son is giving a statement to the police about a college hazing incident in which his face was smeared with peanut butter while he was passed out at a fraternity.
Andrew Seely suffered an anaphylactic reaction as a result. “He could have been killed,” Teresa Seely, his mother wrote this week on Facebook.
The pictures she posted online show severity of the reaction, which left Andrew’s nose and eyes badly swollen. “He was sent to the campus health clinic by a professor and treated. Luckily he is still alive,” said Seely.
Andrew was a student at Central Michigan University who belonged to the off-campus Alpha Chi Rho fraternity, where the incident is alleged to have taken place last October.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Andrew completed one semester at CMU before transferring because of the hazing incident. The now-former-CMU student didn’t come forward to tell his family until this week. “Our family is devastated,” Seely wrote.
CMU spokesperson Heather Smith told Allergic Living that it takes “such matters with utmost seriousness,” and school officials are investigating the incident. Police in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, have not yet filed a report, but are in the process of interviewing the parties.
Alpha Chi Rho fraternity is not recognized by CMU because of a hazing incident in 2011. “They appealed last fall to be reinstated as part of CMU and were denied by the Interfraternity Council and the university,” Smith says.
Seely’s Facebook post has garnered almost two thousand shares and hundreds of comments from concerned parents of food-allergic children. She also noted that her son carries an epinephrine auto-injector and Benadryl tablets in his wallet.
“Teresa, I’m so sorry this has happened to your family and I stand by you in support! I am the mother of three children with nut allergies. People’s perception has been long battle,” wrote one concerned mother, while others echoed those thoughts and offered support.
A 2011 Allergic Living article reported that more than one-third of food allergic students between the ages of 8 to 17 reported being bullied or harassed with frequent food threats. Furthermore, in almost half of the reported cases, the children or teenagers did not tell their parents about the bullying.