A Seven Lakes security guard who works to ensure others’ safety received fast, life-saving care from FirstHealth Convenient Care in Whispering Pines after he sustained a bee sting.
Southern Pines native Jaquan Roper started his shift at 3 p.m., checking in and chatting with guests as usual. A pesky bug bothered him, so he swatted. The bee retaliated with a nasty sting on the left side of Roper’s lower lip.
“I didn’t think anything of it,” said Roper, who experienced bee stings in the past with no adverse reactions. He continued to work, but within 30 minutes, his lip swelled tremendously, and his face started to break out into hives. Ladies in his office gave him Benadryl, and his boss relieved him from duty. Roper called his grandmother for advice.
“My grandmother told me to go straight to a convenient care clinic,” Roper said. He was familiar with FirstHealth Convenient Care in Whispering Pines and called to inform them of his bee sting and that he was on the way. While driving, the hives and itching extended down his arms, but he still felt healthy.
“When I walked in, I could tell the ladies at the front desk were concerned,” Roper said. Holly Maness and Kim Cagle immediately recognized Roper’s condition as an emergency and rushed him to a room. Roper felt fine for a few minutes but quickly experienced light-headedness, anxiety, vomiting, profuse sweating and shortness of breath. Roper was in anaphylactic shock and going downhill fast.
FirstHealth physician assistant Nicole Pilkenton, PA-C, flew into action, calling for an ambulance from Emergency Medical Services and administering epinephrine through an intramuscular injection. She gave Roper more antihistamines for extra protection. Then Roper went unresponsive.
The medicine Pilkenton gave him took hold quickly, and Roper revived. FirstHealth nurse Christina Webb, LPN, stayed at Roper’s side as he recovered. Pilkenton and Webb reported he was cracking jokes with the team a few minutes later.
Even though Roper’s episode resolved, Pilkenton still had EMS transport him to Moore Regional Hospital for observation. He stayed there for several hours and went home with an EpiPen, a device that he now keeps with him at all times.
“Everyone at FirstHealth Convenient Care was amazing,” said Roper. “They immediately realized my situation and took care of it right away. They even called me the next day and a few days after that to check up on me.”
Roper soon returned to his security guard post and is looking into allergy testing. “I had no idea I was allergic to bees,” he said. “I was very close to not making it and am grateful for the quick care I got from the team at FirstHealth.”
FirstHealth Convenient Care Medical Director James Liffrig, M.D., is proud of his colleagues. “Mr. Roper had an excellent outcome from a life-threatening situation,” Dr. Liffrig said. “The entire Whispering Pines Convenient Care team worked together to provide him with the right care at the right time.”
Feature photo: Jaquan Roper.