FREMONT, Calif. - The mother and father of a 13-year-old California girl who died from exposure to peanuts spoke publicly for the first time.
Natalie Giorgi's parents, Louis and Joanne, hope to use their daughter's tragic death to push for change, and educate the public about the danger of food allergies.
The tragedy of deadly peanut reactions received national attention in late July when the Sacramento teen died after taking a bite out of a Rice Krispies treat during a summer camping trip.
Natalie Giorgi died at Camp Sacramento in late July after eating the snack, which had peanuts, even after her parents administered multiple doses of medicine.
A family friend told the Sacramento Bee that Giorgi was diligent about her allergy, and spit out the treat right away after tasting peanuts.
"She never put any dessert or anything that was questionable into her mouth without consulting someone," said Augusta Brothers, the family friend.
Giorgi found her mother, who gave her a dose of Benadryl and monitored her. For a short time the girl seemed fine, but 20 minutes later she had trouble breathing.
Her father, a doctor, administered an EpiPen, which contains epinephrine, three times before she stopped breathing.
"She had been fine, and had been talking to us. This was a worst-case scenario. One of the last things she said was, 'I'm sorry mom,'" Natalie mother said in a Wednesday interview with Sacramento TV station, KCRA.
The Sheriff's Office cited laryngeal edema, or a swelling in the throat, as the cause of death.
Giorgi's parents, Louis and Joanna Giorgi, hoped their daughter's death would focus attention on the dangers of food allergies.
"While our hearts are breaking over the tragic loss of our beautiful daughter Natalie, it is our hope that others can learn from this and realize that nut and food allergies are life-threatening," the couple said in a statement. "Caution and care for those (afflicted) should always be supported and taken."
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 3 million American children under the age of 18 had some type of food allergies in 2007.
— KTVU and Associated Press contributed