Thursday, February 28, 2008

allergic to water.

I didn't think that this was possible. In fact, when I read her story, I felt I should do some extra research. I learned that the situation is extraordinarily rare... and that this story is true.

Ashleigh Morris, 19, of Melbourne, Australia is allergic to water. As in H2O. As in the stuff that makes up most of our body weight.

Ashleigh can't enjoy a warm bath or a hot shower. She can't go swimming in the summer. She can't hug her sweaty boyfriend. She can't stand outside in the rain or snow. She has to stay away from any sport that would make her perspire. She has to avoid touching water of any kind... including her own sweat.

Ashleigh can drink water. The problem is that if any water touches Ashleigh's skin, she breaks out in very painful red rash. The rash subsides after a few hours, but the pain sometimes reduces her to tears.

She takes minute-showers to stay clean -- but after a shower, she often will not go out for a couple hours because her skin is so splotchy and painful. In the summer, she pretty much stays where it is air-conditioned. If there is a threat of rain, she stays home.

The disorder is known as Aquagenic Urticaria. It is so rare that there are only a handful of cases in the world. Ashleigh contracted it a few years ago when she had tonsillitis. The doctors prescribed penicillin. The penicillin cured the tonsils, but left her with this disorder.

In every other way, Ashleigh appears to be... and is... very normal.

1 comment:

Struggling Parents said...

Ouch...thats to bad, I've never heard of it either...