Image caption, Jack Fowler recently won Love Island Games, and was on the 2018 series of Love Island

  • Author, Bonnie McLaren
  • Role, Culture reporter

Jack Fowler has said he almost died following an allergic reaction on a flight to Dubai.

The Love Island star, 28, said in a post on Instagram, that he was taken to hospital after eating a chicken curry which contained nuts.

He said that he wasn’t given a menu to choose from, and that he had made his flight attendant aware of his nut allergy before eating.

“I’m posting because people should be aware of the severity of how bad food allergies can be and the complete negligence from @emirates airline,” he wrote.

The reality star posted videos of him injecting himself with an EpiPen, and a photo wearing an oxygen mask.

A spokesperson for Emirates apologised for Mr Fowler’s experience and said “the safety and health of our customers is taken very seriously”.

“While Emirates aims to cater to customers with specific needs by offering a variety of special meals that cover medical, dietary, and religious requirements, we cannot guarantee a nut-free inflight environment,” they said in a statement.

“We urge travellers with dietary or other medical requirements to check our website and consult their doctor before travel.”

Fowler said he was rushed to a hospital in Dubai airport for treatment when the plane landed, after telling the flight supervisor that he feared he would die on the plane.

“My throat closed up and breathing became extremely difficult,” he wrote.

“I told a flight attendant I couldn’t breathe and [asked] if there was nuts in the food.”

He alleged that he was again reassured there were no nuts in the food.It was only when his friend saw the menu that they realised the curry contained cashews.

“This left me with the real possibility of dying on the plane as I knew I needed emergency treatment immediately,” he said.

“I was given five tanks of oxygen, as well as administering my EpiPen.

“I told the flight supervisor ‘If you don’t land this plane soon, I will die on this plane’. This then lead to the pilot speeding up the journey.”

‘Take note’

Fowler ended his post asking airlines to take food allergies seriously.

“I hope all airlines and cabin crew who come across this post take note,” he said.

“We board your flights and trust the cabin crew to aid us in a safe flight. Take more care.”

It’s not the first time Fowler has suffered from an allergic reaction on a plane.

In 2023, he said he was served ice cream containing nuts while on a Qatar Airways flight.

At the time, a spokesperson for Qatar Airways said: “Passenger health and safety is of paramount importance to Qatar Airways and we require all passengers with severe food allergies to notify the airline no less than 48 hours in advance of flying with a completed medical information form (MEDIF) as instructed on our website.

“The airline will work with the passenger to reduce the risk of contamination but as flights are public, an allergen-free environment is not guaranteed.”

How to treat an allergic reaction

Knowing what to do could mean the difference between life and death.

Signs of a severe allergic reaction, also known as anaphylaxis, include:

  • swelling in the throat or tongue
  • wheezing
  • breathing difficulties
  • dizziness
  • tiredness
  • confusion

If in doubt, use the adrenaline pen – sometimes called an Epipen or an adrenaline auto-injector – without delay, injecting into the outer thigh.

Call 999 for help – say it is for anaphylaxis, pronounced “ana-fill-axis”.

Stay where you are and lie the affected person down flat, raising their legs to help blood flow back to the heart and vital organs.

If they are struggling to breathe, they may need to be propped up a bit, but this should be for as short a time as possible.

Use the second adrenaline pen if there is no improvement after five minutes and help has not yet arrived.

Do not stand up, or sit in a chair, even if you are feeling better. This could lower your blood pressure drastically, causing your heart to stop.

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