Sevier Co. woman says late husband is 15th wildfire victim

Danny's life was cut short last December 2016, nearly a month after the fires, he was only 63-years-old.

Danny McAllister was an influential coach, husband and friend to many people in the Wears Valley Community. 

Danny's life was cut short last December 2016, nearly a month after the fires, he was only 63-years-old.

"Our entire family thinks we lost him way too early," Janice said.

Danny's doctor suspected his exposure to smoke the night of the November 28 fires set him over the edge and caused his life to end.

Janice said his health quickly declined after the fires tore through. 

"I remember on the 28th, he was in good health. We were having our late Thanksgiving. We were getting kids in from out of state. By December 2nd, I had to carry him to UT, and he was unconscious by the time we got there," Janice added.

December 29, he passed away. His doctor cited Danny contracted an unusual pneumonia after he was exposed to the wildfires burning in the Eastern Tennessee region, near his Wears Valley home.

"Our doctor specifically said, that the smoke is what pushed him over the edge in this incident," Janice added. 

According to Janice, Danny is the fifteenth wildfire victim.

"It's so obvious he was suffering from smoke inhalation," Janice said,

Smoke Inhalation Explained

Smoke inhalation is a medical condition many other people experienced before, during and after the fires.

"We were seeing a lot of patients in the weeks leading up to the Gatlinburg fire because there were a lot of people who were getting substantial smoke inhalation," said Doctor James Shamiyeh with UT Medical Center. 

Dr. Shamiyeh said a majority of those patients should feel no continuing effects but those with pre-existing conditions may still be at risk.

Doctors cited Danny suffered from a list of lung conditions including chronic respiratory failure.

"If you are still feeling like if your lungs are just not the way they were before that would be a reason to discuss that with your physician," Dr. Shamiyeh.

People who are most most at risk for side effects to smoke inhalation are those with preexisting lung conditions, those with certain heart disease and extremes of age.

"The more closed in the space was when you were exposed to smoke the more likely you are going to have short term and then potentially long term problems. The more dense the exposure was, the more likely you’ll have problems," Dr. Shamiyeh said. 

Janice wants others to know what led to Danny's death to hopefully save another life.

"I'm not asking for anything except just the recognition, and there's more to deal with," Janice said. 

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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