SD Woman Reacts to Almost Fainting at White House

By Megan Tevrizian, Christina London and AP Staff
|  Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013  |  Updated 10:38 AM PDT
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San Diego resident Karmel Allison made headlines Monday when she almost fainted during President Obama’s speech about the affordable care act, NBC 7’s Megan Tevrizian talked to Allison from Washington, with an explanation about what happened and a response to people who say the incident was staged.

San Diego resident Karmel Allison made headlines Monday when she almost fainted during President Obama’s speech about the affordable care act, NBC 7’s Megan Tevrizian talked to Allison from Washington, with an explanation about what happened and a response to people who say the incident was staged.

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President Obama Helps Woman at ACA Event

President Obama briefly interrupted a Rose Garden speech on the Affordable Care Act to assist a woman who seemed to be about to faint.
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A San Diego woman made headlines after she nearly fainted in the White House Rose Garden Monday while the president was giving a speech.

Downtown resident Karmel Allison stood behind President Obama as he discussed the administration’s problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

The president was well into his speech when Allison, who is 20 weeks pregnant and a Type 1 diabetic, started to look woozy. She swayed, closed her eyes, took deep breaths and took the hand of the woman next to her for support.

“I think I just got a little bit lightheaded while I was up there and began to realize I was seeing stars,” Allison explained.

President Obama was telling the story of John, a Pennsylvania man who wrote to the president about the Affordable Care Act. He described the man's experience -- saying John had saved $900 a month by using the health exchanges

That’s when Mr. Obama paused, turned to Allison and reached out to catch her, saying, "I got you, you're o.k."

Then, he turned back to the crowd and quipped, "This happens when I talk too long."

Allison was escorted from the event.

She said she didn’t drink many fluids before the speech.

"I wasn't expecting to faint behind the President,” she said. “Maybe get in the shot.”

Allison was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was nine years old, and has stayed on the same insurance ever since out of fear she would not be able to find a plan that would cover her due to her pre-existing condition.

Allison, the science editor of A Sweet Life, a blog about diabetes care, is working toward her Ph.D. in bioinformatics at UCSD. 

She later wrote on Twitter: "I'm OK world ... Thanks, @BarackObama for catching me!"

While Allison has received support on social media after the near-fainting incident, others questioned whether or not it was staged.

“It certainly wasn't,” Allison said. “They would've chosen someone better than me to fake it. Trust me."

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