Mishicot couple Angel and George Mueller continue push to increase epinephrine access with expansion of Dillon’s Law
Washington, January 11, 2022
By: Alisa Schafer (Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter)
MANITOWOC - It has been more than seven years since their son’s death, but Angel and George Mueller of Mishicot are still fighting for easier access to epinephrine, the very medication that could have saved their son’s life.
On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Health will hold a public hearing on a bill that would expand Dillon’s Law to allow people certified in administering epinephrine to receive that medication directly from the pharmacy through a “standing order” without having to obtain an order from their primary care physician.
“I would rather just go to the pharmacy to pick this (epinephrine) up and to have it in my first aid kit instead of having to stop at the doctor’s office,” Angel said. “This is just one less step, and it makes it so much easier to get epinephrine to the people.”
The new bill has been sponsored by both Sen. Andre Jacque and Rep. Shae Sortwell.
Since their son Dillon died of an allergic reaction to a bee sting at age 18 in 2014, the Muellers have made it their mission to educate people on the importance of epinephrine and to push for state and national laws that would allow more people to carry epinephrine with them or to keep them stocked in their first aid kits.
Angel said she wants to see an epinephrine auto-injector next to every AED (automated external defibrillator) throughout the entire country.
“If you knew how easy it is to give an epinephrine auto-injector, you would be as motivated as I am — as we are,” she said.
Dillon’s Law, which was signed by then-Gov. Scott Walker in 2017, makes it possible for anyone trained in recognizing anaphylaxis and administering epinephrine to obtain a prescription for an auto-injector and purchase it at a pharmacy.
Angel said both Indiana and Minnesota have since passed similar laws and U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman has introduced a similar bill to the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.
“We’re just waiting on the next step (with the House of Representatives),” Angel said. “But I’m very pleased with how things are coming along.”
Pushing for legislation on wider access to epinephrine has only been part of the work. Angel also organizes free “Do if For Dillon” anaphylaxis training courses. Last year, there were 20 classes and this year, there are already six classes lined up in January alone.
Angel said people going through the training range in age from 5 years to 80 years old, and they’ve done groups such as Cub Scouts. This year, Angel said all the STEM students at Mishicot Middle School, grades 7-8, will take part in the training.
People who wish to become a volunteer instructor to certify people in administering epinephrine can also reach out to Angel and take part in what they call the “Train the trainer” program.
“I stay motivated through knowledge of life being saved,” Angel said. “We know of seven people for sure who have been saved.”
Angel also recently published a collection of poetry called “Wheels Up — Grief to Peace,” detailing the first days and months after Dillon’s death.
“Even if everything stopped today, I would feel really good, as well as my husband, at what we’ve accomplished,” Angel said. “And we haven’t done it alone. We’ve had lots of help from the community … everyone has always been in our corner.”