Colorado

Feb 25, 2013 8:33 PM by SIera Santos, ssantos@koaa.com

Student says school nurse would refuse to administer life-saving medication

The last time Riley Mers was exposed to peants, she almost died.

"It was really scary. I couldn't breathe. Like, my fingers get numb. I couldn't really move," Riley Mers said.

It was an EpiPen that saved her life, but now it's an EpiPen that's keeping her from school.

Because Riley's allergy is life-threatening, her mother, Sherry Mers, started Angel Service Dogs. The program pairs kids from all over the country with service dogs. The goal is to help them lead a normal life despite serious medical conditions. For Riley, that includes attending the Falcon Homeschool Enrichment Program with her service dog CiCi. But last week, she had a major set-back when a school nurse called her over to discuss her EpiPen.

"She asked me where my EpiPen was," Riley explained, "I said, 'Oh, it's right here,' and I showed her where it was."

Riley asked the nurse if she knew how to use it.

"She said, 'Oh yes, but I wouldn't be able to give it to you anyway.'"

Somehow, Riley's allergy plan had gone missing. Her mom says this is the second time it's happened.

"It doesn't make any sense to me. Even if they've had a paperwork glitch, to say to a child 'I'm not going to give you life saving medication' is deplorable for any adult," Sherry said.

News 5 contacted the school district and, while they couldn't discuss the details of the situation, they said they put students' safety first.

"I can tell you that we are looking into it. I wouldn't say it's an investigation, but we're certainly assessing how it was handled," said Stephanie Wurtz, spokesperson for Falcon School District 49.

Meredith mentioned: "If there was a life or death situation for the student, no one would just stand by. Of Course any of our staff members would do whatever necessary to make sure the student's health is taken care of."

Until the district is done with their assessment, Riley can't go back to class. Sherry describes the way the school has handled the situation as "awkward."

"The bottomline is my kid can't go back to school," Sherry said.

News 5 will continue to track this story and update any new information on the resolution of Riley's situation.

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