If you're an avid Real Housewives of New York City viewer, you probably recall the episode from last season when Bethenny Frankel had an allergic reaction in Cartagena. As Frankel explained on the show, she has a fish allergy — not a shellfish one — which is pretty rare. Well, on Monday night, Frankel tweeted that she suffered an allergic reaction to a soup containing fish and was sent to the ER and ICU for two days.
After eating the soup, Frankel said she itched, and then was unconscious for 15 minutes. "I couldn’t talk, see, thought I had a stroke & dying & told if 5 mins later I’d be dead," she tweeted. "911 & EPI saved me. I’ll never not carry an #epipen." Later, Frankel responded to a tweet from a fan, who commented on her new boyfriend, saying, "He saved my life."
Frankel tweeted that she usually keeps her allergy to herself because it's "hard to describe." According to the American College of Allergies, Asthma, and Immunology, the symptoms of allergic reactions to fish can include hives, nausea, vomiting, and in severe cases, life-threatening anaphylaxis. Compared to shellfish allergies, which affect some 7 million Americans, fish allergies are much less common. And about 40% of people with fish allergies develop them in adulthood, according to the ACAAI.
This life-threatening experience has lead Frankel to two new causes: getting EpiPens for classrooms that can't afford them, as well as replacing the mattresses used in the hospital she stayed in, Newton Wellesley Hospital in Massachusetts, she tweeted. Frankel said it was the "best hospital I have ever been to," but it lacked a budget for TVs and comfortable beds. She also recognized that many people don't have access to EpiPens, because of the high cost. "I am all over this," she tweeted. "I’ve heard about it and this will be a mission of mine."
Given Frankel's generosity with other causes she's fought for, chances are she'll embrace this new cause with the same tenacity that fans and viewers love.