DIX HILLS, Long Island (WABC) -- A teenager experienced a close call at her junior prom after she had an allergic reaction to a cookie containing nuts, her family says.
Seventeen-year-old Arianna Varghese described a terrifying night shortly after her junior prom began last Friday at Half Hollow Hills High School West in Dix Hills.
Arianna, who's had a peanut and tree nut allergy her whole life, bit into a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie at that school event and moments later, began throwing up and feeling like she was going into anaphylactic shock.
But the teen told Eyewitness News Reporter Stacey Sager her school principal, assistant principal, and school nurse didn't seem to believe her.
"And she was like, 'What drugs are you on..why are you throwing up,'" Arianna said.
The teen said there was no EpiPen immediately administered and no immediate call to 911. Arianna called her father, who's a physician's assistant, and he raced to the school.
"I said this is an anaphylactic shock," father Daniel Varghese said. "She takes it from my hand, then injects it into Ari."
"What was going on in the mind of the nurse, of the adults around her when she was saying, 'I can't breathe,'" mother Pinky Varghese said.
The school released a statement on Tuesday that said the nurse, "acted immediately."
"The nurse began evaluating the student's vitals, asked questions to assess what care was needed, began treatment for an allergic reaction including the administration of Benadryl and a non-patient-specific Epi-Pen, and contacted the student's parents and first responders," the statement read. "From the time the nurse was called and began treating the child to the time first responders arrived, approximately 15 minutes had passed. We are thankful that our student has recovered and returned to school."
But the Varghese family believes the school officials were far more preoccupied with doubt about what Arianna might not be telling them instead of what she was telling them.
"They were going through her bag, searching for drugs," Daniel said. "I want people to take accountability for what they didn't do."
Meanwhile, Arianna's father believes it was more like 40 minutes, total time, before she was treated.
Arianna received two EpiPens and four hours of I-V fluids at Huntington Hospital before she felt better, according to the family.
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