By Stephanie Stahl

HATBORO, Pa. (CBS) — Near-fatal bee stings are rare, but that’s what happened to a popular Hatboro police officer. After being in a coma for a month, he’s starting to recover.

The officer’s wife says it’s going to be a long recovery.

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What happened to Officer Ryan Allen is an important lesson about the dangers of anaphylactic shock. It’s a rare but severe allergic reaction that needs quick attention.

“I put Ryan’s wedding ring on my necklace,” Whitney Allen said. “It’s a part of him I’m wearing.”

Whitney is keeping her husband close, only briefly leaving his bedside at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where he’s slowly recovering from a near-fatal bee sting.

“He’s come a long way,” she said.

Ryan is a K-9 officer with the Hatboro Police Department. He suffered a severe brain injury from cardiac arrest that started with a bee. He’d been stung before without issue, but not this time.

“He didn’t seem worried at first and only seconds later, he told me he started feeling weird,” Whitney said. “I just knew something was wrong because Ryan has not — he’s never been scared in our relationship so to hear that in his voice, I knew that I needed to get him help right away.”

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By the time the ambulance arrived, Ryan was crashing. Now a month later, after bouts with pneumonia and other complications, he is finally able to breathe on his own for periods without a ventilator.

“Thankfully and gratefully, he’s doing a lot better,” Whitney said.

Whitney, who’s seven months pregnant, knows her husband is fighting hard to come back to her, their 3-year-old son Jackson and their second son, who’s due in January.

“Very overwhelming,” Whitney said. “Guess unimaginable is another word I would use, just heartbreaking.”

At the doctor’s suggestion, Ryan’s dog Louie has visited the hospital twice. They’re a beloved team and well known in the community, where there has been an outpouring of support.

“I’m so grateful for all the support we’ve received throughout this unimaginable journey,” Whitney said. “I have no words of how thankful we are really.”

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The Montgomery County Hero Fund is collecting donations for the Allen family. You can donate here.

Stephanie Stahl