I remember, as if it were yesterday… I was at college and told my teacher my eyes were itching me from there I went home informed my mom and she told me to call the doctor’s office and I was told by the doctors to buy over the counter eyes drops (Optrex). My mom administered the eye drops into my eyes and within 30mins, blisters started coming up under my feet and my whole body (pouring water on myself was excruciating painful). I normally have a high threshold for pain, but this was a different kind of pain; as if I was burning from inside out. The last thing that did it for me was when my air ways started closing up and I was finding it hard to breathe.. that’s when I informed my mom to call the ambulance. At this point in time, I was unable to stand on my feet as the blisters had taken over the whole palm of my feet.
My initial thought was oh this is just another ordeal and I will overcome it.. as I was born 4 months early and weighed 1 pound; faced various medical surgeries and ordeals and have come through them all.
Never, in a million years did I think my whole skin would peel off and ill end up in an induced coma due to this severe allergy reaction known as SJS.
I was in hospital from January to March 2011. Initially at the first hospital I went to Croydon University Hospital stated I had swine flu and put me in isolation. I was throwing up thick blood and blood gushing out my eyes due to the allergy I didn’t know I was having at the time.
Later, I was moved to The Royal London Hospital thanks to one Doctor who was aware of what was happening to me. I was informed by my mom that I was put in an induced coma due to the severe nature of the condition.
Recovering from SJS has been an ongoing process as I’ve been under dermatology specialist at The Royal London Hospital and also the ophthalmologist. Having to use eye drops for the rest of my life to keep my eyes lubricated is crucial. I am so blessed that when I came out of the ordeal I did not need to have skin draft done or eye surgeries. Where the tracheotomy was it closed up beautifully by itself. My skin has healed pretty well.. from time to time I do get blurry vision.
I remember not wanting to go out in public as I feared how people would perceive me.
When a few months went by I felt more and more comfortable in my own skin and started talking about my story to inspire others.. turning a negative situation into a positive one. On the bright side, I have new skin, finger nails, toe nails and hair like a baby!!
Now I share my story to inspire others and give them hope through their challenges.
I have started a campaign titled “My Scars Tell A Story Photography Campaign” Instagram @myscars2020 @mariana1991
I am honoured and excited to be an Ambassador for the Scar Free Foundation. Remember, scars are not just physical… scars can be psychological, emotional and funding for research in to all the problems of scarring is needed.