Just one day after Kalyn Rolan lost her mom, she stepped outside to get a breath of fresh air and make a phone call. She took a seat on a haystack in the yard and pulled her phone out when she realized that she had just made the biggest mistake of her life.
Grieving her mother’s untimely loss, Kalyn Rolan, who is a mom herself to two precious boys, was trying to come to grips with the devastating news that her mother was gone while also having to plan the funeral. The weather was warm in Selma, Alabama, as Kalyn decided to make a phone call outside and enjoy the sunshine.
Sadly, Kalyn would never make it back inside to her two boys. Instead, she died in her husband’s arm, following the most unusual and terrifying circumstances that unfolded after one simple mistake that shockingly cost the young mother her life.
According to WSFA, as soon as the 29-year-old mother sat down on the bail of hay, she immediately knew something was wrong, but it was still too late. She jumped from her perch, screaming in horror, as she was being attacked by fire ants in what had to be the most horrifying final moments that one can imagine.
While such an insect assault as this is uncomfortable to most, it was fatal for Kalyn, who is severely allergic to the ants and had an anaphylactic reaction to their bites. The severe allergic reaction would lead to her untimely death as her airway closed off, restricting her ability to breathe.
“Losing a mother and a daughter together, back-to-back within a day, it’s a lot for a person to take on,” Sheila Rolan, the victim’s mother-in-law, explained to a local news station as she recalled her daughter-in-law’s tragic final moments.
“The ants started coming out and getting all over her and she came off the haystack and my son said he grabbed her and put her on the ground, took her clothes off trying to help her to save her, but he couldn’t save her,” Sheila added. It was too late for Kalyn who was already suffering her severe allergic reaction to the insects.
Kalyn Rolan’s friend Regina Tatum and mother-in-law Sheila Rolan spoke with the local news following her tragic death.
As the instant allergic reaction set in, Kalyn Rolan began to swell to such an extreme extent that it blocked her airway, inhibiting her ability to breathe. Despite his quick reaction, Kalyn’s husband couldn’t save her as she was gone moments after the attack.
“She died in my son’s arms. I can only imagine what he’s going through right now, you know, and then having to save her mother too,” Sheila said. “I wish I could do more for him, I wish I could take that load off of him,” the grief-stricken woman added.
Images of Kalyn Rolan, her sons, and her husband
The family held a tragic double funeral for both Kalyn Rolan and her mother, with her little boys, ages two and seven, there to say goodbye to their mom and grandma.
On top of the unfathomable loss, the funerals put a financial strain on the already struggling family, for which Sheila started a GoFundMe in hopes of helping with some of the family’s expenses.
The rarity of this accident is put into perspective by the statistics in Alabama that show in 2013, 2014, and 2015, not a single person was ever been killed by ants. The next closest death by an insect is three total fatalities from yellow jackets.
The obscurity of this goes to show how precious life can be, that you could be gone in an instant, and to live each day, not taking a single thing for granted. It’s tragic that this man is left without his wife, and their children won’t get to know their mom while trying to understand that it was ants that took her life.