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‘He started feeling weird’: Wife of Hatboro police officer remembers life together before he was stricken by a bee sting

Ryan Allen is a husband, father, police officer and the tragic victim of a bee sting. That venomous sting set in motion a series of events that now have Ryan residing in hospice care. Here are stories and reflections about Ryan from friends and family who are so proud of him and who love him so very much.

‘He started feeling weird’: Wife of Hatboro police officer remembers life together before he was stricken by a bee sting

Allen family photo
Hatboro police officer Ryan Allen is pictured here with his wife, Whitney Allen, their son, Jackson Allen, and their dog, Louie, at home. Allen is in hospice care after suffering an anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting in October. (Contributed photo)

By ANDREW SCOTT
MAR 11, 2022 

Whitney Allen was pregnant with her second child with Hatboro police officer Ryan Allen last year, looking forward to their life together with the growing family.

Then came Oct. 7.

“Ryan came home from the gym and calmly told me he’d been stung by a bee,” Allen said. “A few seconds later, he said he started feeling weird, but the way he said it scared me. I immediately called 911 and told them I thought he was having an anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting. He walked outside while I was on the phone. A few seconds after that, I went out and found him passed out on our stoop.”

Ryan Allen, a 35-year-old Quakertown native, suffered a heart attack and brain injury, Allen said. After first responders revived him following his heart attack, he spent seven weeks in intensive care, and then three months in hospital and rehabilitation settings, she wrote on a GoFundMe to raise money for his care. Now, however, the family has made the decision to transfer him to hospice care near his home.

“It was very traumatizing, having to visit him in the hospital every day while dealing with the last trimester of my pregnancy, and then not having him there with me when our second son was born,” Allen, also 35, said Thursday. “It’s just devastating to see such a wonderful man in the prime of his life struck down like this from something as seemingly simple as a bee sting.”

Allen sometimes finds it hard to believe the man lying in a hospice bed is the same man who was the energetic extrovert she first met 10 years ago at a St. Patrick’s Day gathering for his fellow Montgomery County police academy graduates.

“He was the funniest, most charming person,” said the Merion Station native who was in her second year at Villanova University’s Widger School of Law when the couple met. “He was handsome, witty, very smart. It was love at first sight for both of us. As I got to know him better, I came to appreciate his intelligence, kindness and lifelong ambition to pursue a law enforcement career. Being by his side as he realized his dream was an honor.”

After his collapse, Allen began chest compressions on her husband until the ambulance arrived.

Time passed and the impact of his reaction to the sting became more evident. An MRI showed major brain damage.

“We understood the severity of the brain injury when he was in intensive care,” Allen said. “When the doctors told us they can’t predict the outcome, we decided as a family to give Ryan the benefit of the doubt and do all we could to try to get his brain to heal.”

But when it became apparent that he won’t recover from his brain injury, the family made the painful decision to transfer him to hospice care.

“As his family and the people that know and love him the most, we know from the bottom of our hearts that Ryan would not want to live in the current state he is in,” Allen wrote on the GoFundMe page. “We want to do what is best for Ryan and that is to give him his freedom and peace after so much trauma and pain.”

To ease her own pain, Allen now chooses to focus more on the good memories she and her husband shared.

“Ryan woke up every day not thinking about the little things like what to have for dinner,” Allen said. "Instead, he thought about the big existential questions, like how he was going to be better for his family and community, how to make an impact and make the people who love him proud.

“He had an established view of right and wrong, of good guys and bad guys,” she said. “He wanted to be a good guy and help people. And he lived that example every day. That’s his legacy, the impact he’s had on people.”

That shows in the number of people in the community who’ve supported Allen and sons Jackson, now 4, and Leo, now 2 months, through their ordeal, Allen said. As of Thursday evening, the GoFundMe Allen set up has raised nearly $121,000, which will go toward hospice care expenses the family isn’t certain insurance will cover.

“Ryan knows how much he’s loved,” Allen said. “He’ll definitely live on in our hearts.”

Morning Call reporter Andrew Scott can be reached at 610-820-6508 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Andrew Scott covers evening breaking news for The Morning Call. He previously handled some of the municipal, school board and breaking news coverage for the Pocono Record in Monroe County, where he lives. He’s a Morris County, N.J., native, and William Paterson University graduate. 

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