Pharmacist saves life of woman stung by wasp

A woman from the Laurentians is thanking her local pharmacist for acting quickly and saving her life after she suffered an allergic reaction to a wasp sting.

'I didn’t think it was life threatening,' says Josée Asselin, who didn't want to go to the hospital

Josée Asselin says she's never had an allergic reaction to a sting in the past. (John P. Ashmore/Shutterstock)

A woman from the Laurentians is thanking her pharmacist for saving her life.

Josée Asselin was out working in her garden in Saint-Colomban a few weeks ago when she says she felt a sting on her arm. She glanced down and saw what looked like a wasp.

Josée Asselin had a close call after she was stung by a wasp and experienced an intense allergic reaction. Luckily, her pharmacist took quick action.

In less than a minute, Asselin says she started itching all over. She jumped into the car to pick up an antihistamine at the pharmacy.

The drive only took about eight minutes, but Asselin says the itching kept getting worse. It spread to her scalp and her legs.

At the stoplight right before the pharmacy, Asselin started to have trouble breathing.

"It was getting more difficult [to breathe] and my face was getting numb," she told CBC's Daybreak.

When she walked into the pharmacy, her pharmacist, Ugo Deschênes, recognized her, but noticed there was something wrong with her face.

"He brought me right away in his office, he asked me a few questions… He came back with an EpiPen and — bang! — on my leg."

I didn't think it was life threatening- Josée Asselin

She says after her pharmacist administered the emergency dose of epinephrine, her symptoms went away.

Asselin didn't want to go to the hospital, but her pharmacist called the paramedics anyway.

On the way, Asselin's symptoms came back with a vengeance.

She said the itching was even worse this time, with bumps popping up all over her legs, arms and stomach.

"I didn't think it was life threatening," she said.

After spending hours at the hospital, her doctor told her that she should thank her pharmacist because he saved her life.

"I didn't really believe it," Asselin said.

Asselin is feeling much better now, although she's a little wary of wasps.


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