A New York woman and her 13-year-old son experienced a terrifying scenario that could have ended in tragedy, if it weren’t for the quick action taken by the boy. Lisa Bustin was in her car waiting for her son Nathan to finish hockey practice on January 3rd. She decided to snack on a jar of peanuts in the car, eating a few handfuls before her son came to the car and the two headed for home.

In the middle of the ride home, Lisa’s hands and feet began to tingle, and her face felt as if it were on fire. She rolled down the window to get some air before suddenly losing consciousness. Her body went limp, but her foot stayed on the gas pedal. Of the moment, her son Nathan shares with TODAY:

“Then her eyes rolled up and her head went back to the headrest. As soon as she went unconscious, her hands just dropped and totally relaxed.”

Thankfully,  Nathan was ready to jump into action. The teen didn’t hesitate  to gab the wheel and keep it from careening into oncoming traffic. With his left hand on the steering wheel, he used his right to dial 911 on his moms cell phone. But then his mom’s listless body stiffened, causing her foot to apply pressure to the gas pedal. Before they could accelerate much more, they hit the rear end of a truck which caused the car to finally come to a stop.

Cary, Abby, Nathan, and Lisa Bustin

The airbags were deployed and Nathan quickly pulled his still-unconscious mother out of the car because he thought the smoke that came out of the airbags meant the car was on fire.

Except for a few bruises and achy muscles, no one was seriously injured. After a battery of tests, Lisa’s doctors determined that her bizarre episode was caused by an allergic reaction to the peanuts she ate, even though she had never had a peanut allergy before in her life. According to her doctors, food allergies can develop later on in life even though they mostly appear in early childhood.

Of her son’s quick thinking, Lisa says:

“He totally did save both of our lives. I feel like God was looking down on us and helping Nate steer.”

Nathan received a commendation from the Cicero Police Department for his quick actions that undoubtedly saved his mother’s life. Cicero Police Chief Steve Rotunno said the following:

“He did awesome. This area of the highway can be challenging to maneuver though. This could have definitely had a different outcome.”

Lisa’s doctor prescribed her an EpiPen which she will carry everywhere with her from now on, as well as Benadryl and prednisone. Studies have determined that somewhere between 25 to 50% of American’s with a food allergy didn’t develop the allergy until adulthood, but doctors and scientists still aren’t entirely sure what prompts these sudden allergies.

Of her sudden allergic reaction to peanuts Lisa says:

“I’m not a big peanut eater…almost never do. Just that day they were in the car and I happened to be hungry and I just didn’t think anything of it because I didn’t ever have a peanut allergy.”



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