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Teen’s Parents Hope Peanut Allergy Death Brings Awareness

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CARMICHAEL (CBS13) — The parents of a Carmichael teen who died moments after taking a bite of a snack are speaking out for the first time since her death.

“She was a ray of sunshine in our lives,” said Joanne Giorgi.

The Giorgis wear purple to remember the sunshine girl.

“Natalie’s favorite color is purple. She is all things purple.”

The girl—who once danced with friends and took trips to Hawaii with her family—dead at 13.

“I would say we are as destroyed as people can imagine,” said Louis Giorgi

It all started when the Giorgi family was on their annual trip to Camp Sacramento last month.

“A typical pattern was this dance and hula hoops and punch and Rice Krispie treats.”

But those treats were iced with peanut butter.

Extended interview with Natalie’s parents

“She knew right away, she was like I think I may have had something.”

But Natalie did not have an immediate reaction after taking a bite, instead insisting she felt fine.

But moments later, the teenager would go into shock.

“We were both there, we both knew what to do, we had medication.”

Two epi pens failed to Natalie’s anaphylactic shock, so her dad smashed a cabinet window to get a third pen.

As the glass broke, he severed a tendon in his own arm.

But it wasn’t enough. Natalie died in her parents’ arms.

Hours later, the surgeon himself would be in the hospital having surgery on his own injury.

“We were always prepared for that—and yet we didn’t avoid this fate.”

“It’s a fate these parents hope no other family has to experience. They have started a foundation to raise awareness of food allergies.

“We find ourselves in the position of people wanting to know, people wanting to have our story shared. Therefore we feel like we owe it to the next child.”

And it is something that the sunshine girl, all dressed in purple, would have wanted as well.

“She would be like, ‘Yeah. You go, Mom. You go, Dad. You guys tell everybody. You make sure people understand.’”

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