Skip to Main Content

The last time Melanie Wardell was thrown into anaphylactic shock, an ad for Macy’s was to blame.

Wardell, 45, was thumbing through a magazine and came upon one of those inserts daubed with perfume. Just the scent triggered her systemic mastocytosis, a rare disorder that leads to unpredictable allergic reactions. It knocked her completely unconscious.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!

GET STARTED