Suburban school’s EpiPen procedure concerns family

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. -- A suburban school district has apologized after a student says a school nurse delayed her use of an EpiPen while she suffered a serious allergic reaction.

15-year-old John Hersey High School student Lia Sommers says she started feeling the symptoms the second she took a bite of a turkey sandwich from the school cafeteria. The sandwich was made, she’d later learn, using a peanut product.

Lia carries an EpiPen and she’s had to use it before. This time, though, she went to the school nurse with a friend, and says the nurse was reluctant to use the injection at first.

In the end, the nurse let Lia inject herself and had her transported to Northwest Community Hospital, just as a precaution.

“There were policies that were put in place, but weren’t followed, Lia’s mother Lonnie Joy Sommer said. “And I think that was as horrific for them as it was for us."

The school issued a statement saying

The school nurse acted professionally and, consistent with district protocols, called 911, which happens whenever an EpiPen is administered. We apologize to the family and are working to improve our protocols regarding allergies and food in the Food and Nutrition Services Department.

The Sommers family says they don’t plan to sue but they’re glad people for the awareness.
District 214 has agreed to pay Lia’s medical bills.