We try not to focus on the dangers that lurk around every corner, but there’s really no denying that the world can be a pretty scary place when it wants to be. And, sometimes, the biggest threats are the ones that we never saw coming.

This is true just about anywhere that you go. You can find yourself in danger while driving on the road, traveling to a different country, or even in your own home.

One Florida family recently learned that the hard way when when their father, John Clark, went outside to do some seemingly harmless gardening. What followed should come as a stern warning to everyone about the importance of understanding your own body…

John Clark was a happy, healthy father from Tampa Bay, Florida. He loved his wife and six-year-old daughter, and especially enjoyed playing the guitar as his little girl sang along. They couldn’t have imagined what would happen to him…

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One otherwise ordinary day, John was gardening outside his family’s home when he got stung four times by yellow jackets. The stings hurt, but he was able to walk back into the house, seemingly fine.

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After his wife got him an ice pack, John started acting strangely, and it became clear that something was seriously wrong. He was experiencing numbness and difficulty breathing, and as he gasped for air he told his wife that he loved her.

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What followed was absolutely terrifying, especially for anyone who ever spends a significant amount of time outdoors. Watch the video below to learn what you should be aware of to prevent this from happening to you…

While it’s easy to say that this all could have been avoided if John knew that he was allergic to wasp stings, the fact of the matter is that there’s no real way of knowing that you’re allergic until you’ve actually been stung.

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Sometimes, the allergy develops later in your life; you don’t necessarily need to be allergic to wasp stings from birth. In John’s case, he became so terribly allergic to these stings that, by the time he did get stung, it was already too late for anybody to save him.

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If you do survive a wasp sting, though, you can easily determine whether you’re allergic. If your only symptom is a bit of pain for a few hours, then chances are that you probably don’t have the allergy—although that’s not to say that you can’t become allergic later in your life.

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If you do have a sensitivity to wasp stings, you may exhibit other symptoms. You may notice swelling, itching, or hives in parts of your body other than where you’ve been stung. You could also experience difficulty breathing, cramps, dizziness, diarrhea, or nausea.

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Regardless of whether you’re allergic, there are measures you can take to prevent wasp stings. Some of these include wearing long pants and sleeves when you’re outdoors, not drinking from open soda cans (because wasps are attracted to the sugar and may be hiding inside), closing the windows of your car, and avoiding sandals or walking barefoot.

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What makes this so sad is just how preventable it really was. It just goes to show how important it is that we learn as much as we can about our health and our surroundings.

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