For many parents, the rising price of EpiPens isn’t just financial hardship. It’s the difference between life and death. Recently, a mother shared on Reddit school officials forfeited her child’s EpiPen to save another student who was having an allergic reaction while at school. Of course, everyone was thrilled when the medicine did the trick, but now the mom of the child is in a weird position. Is she wrong for wanting the school or the sick child’s parents to reimburse her the $650 it cost them for the EpiPen?
This whole mess started on February 21, when a child had a severe allergic reaction at school.
The mom isn’t angry that the EpiPens were used — she’s happy that they saved the kid’s life.
But again, the EpiPens are a major expense. So she went into the school office and asked if they could put her in contact with the other student’s parents “so I can get reimbursed for the new pens.”
“They told me they couldn’t give me that information and refused to even contact the parent for me,” she wrote. “So I produce the receipt and said, ‘OK you can reimburse me for it as my insurance would only pay once a year for them, I do it every January and I had to get these out of pocket,'” she recalled.
But the secretary she spoke to was floored by the mom’s question.
She refused to take the mom’s receipt and said that the school wasn’t liable.
“I make okay money but these [expletive] things are not cheap, $650, and that’s still a lot of money for us,” she explained. “I’m glad that it was used to save a kids life but I really do feel as if I should be reimbursed. But I was made to feel worthless [expletive].”
Then she tried bringing her request to the principal.
And she admitted that she was just a bit short.
“Currently they’ve never had this happen before and they don’t know how to proceed,” she added. “It cost me $650 to replace the set.”
“So AITA for wanting someone to repay me for a life-saving drug that was used on another child?” she asked.
Some people in the comments pointed out that what the school did was dangerous.
“Remind them that they stole prescription medication from a child and are now refusing to pay for it,” one commenter wrote.
“Not only did the school steal from one child,” a second person added. “They then administrated a medication which was prescribed for one child to another. While that’s likely safe (and likely the same medication) I’m pretty sure whoever administered it, wasn’t trained to make that determination.”
“EpiPens are not all substitutable for each other,” a third commenter pointed out. “This was the wrong way to handle it they got lucky.”
But almost every person agreed that the mom should get paid back.
“Yes and tell them that your child is currently in danger because she doesn’t have pens,” one commenter wrote.
“Seriously, take them to small claims,” a second person agreed.
“Pretty sure forking over $650 (which is a ludicrous cost, just saying) to replace them is something that should be covered under their budget for not letting kids die under their watch,” a third person added.
In the end, the superintendent of the school called the mom and apologized.
In an update to the mom’s post, she explained that the superintendent told her that the school did have an EpiPen on campus, “but the person in question didn’t know the location of the emergency box, another issue, and used my child’s pens.”
Not only would they be reimbursing the mom for the cost of the pens, but they would be doing a full staff training on proper procedure.
“She also apologizes for the rudeness of the staff at the school this morning and that they didn’t follow protocol last week on Friday about informing me that my daughter didn’t have an EpiPen any longer,” she recalled.
It’s scary to think about what would have happened if her daughter had an allergic reaction right after her EpiPens had been used. But hopefully, the mom will get new EpiPens soon and everyone will stay safe.