How He Died

"Why should death be feared?If we fill ourselves with love / life while we are here, death should be an accepted end… even itself loved, and lived. Death is not forever; death is your toy. Death is any shape you make it. Death is not an end, but a beginning!" - Joe Chithalen -

In the fall of 1999 the Mahones, by now a flourishing club and bar band with three successful CDs, asked him to join them for an extended tour. The European leg was to include The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

They opened in Amsterdam on Queen’s Day, a national holiday, with the band playing all day in front of an Irish pub called Tig Barra.

At 9:00 p.m. Joe was on his way to a blues jam session when he bought a pastry from a street vendor.

He took one bite.

Within minutes Joe was not feeling well and he asked his friend for help. Joe's windpipe began to swell then close. Soon he was in anaphylactic shock from a peanut sauce in the pastry. His epinephrine was back in the pub. Emergency paramedics worked to save him but within the hour he was pronounced dead at hospital.

The music stopped.

Joe’s legacy continues through the efforts of others. Projects like "A Joe Show" is a fundraising musical festival, held in September, to help disadvantaged kids learn to play music through a free lending library that allows them to 'sign-out' instruments similar to a library lending system.

Efforts like this help to raise awareness of anaphylaxis and celebrate a life filled with love and music.

One moment on a street corner, a moment in time. Anaphylaxis is unforgiving and it's a risk that faces thousands of Canadians
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