Schoolgirl overcomes multiple allergies thanks to specialist care

Schoolgirl Daisy Ames’ life was turned around after she was diagnosed with multiple allergies and received effective treatment at St Mary’s Hospital paediatric allergy clinic.

Daisy, aged eight from Hythe, Kent, has been diagnosed with peanut, dairy, wheat, dust mite, cat and mould allergies; serious conditions which require careful management to prevent unpleasant and potentially serious symptoms.

After years of suffering from allergic reactions and the painful skin condition eczema, she was referred to the paediatric allergy clinic at St Mary’s Hospital, run by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, in 2012. She had a series of tests for an accurate diagnosis and her allergies are now under control thanks to a treatment and diet plan.

As an inspiration to other allergy sufferers, Daisy will open the Allergy & Free From Show on its second day at Olympia London on Saturday 5 July. 

She developed eczema at just four weeks old and as a toddler her skin was frequently covered head to toe in painful sores. At two, she was diagnosed with a peanut allergy when she bit into a biscuit and her lips swelled up and she came out in rashes.  

Despite changes to her diet, being prescribed steroids and daily use of emollients for her skin condition, Daisy suffered from lack of energy, bloatedness, nausea, lack of appetite, puffy eyes and painful sores. She did not eat or sleep properly and her school work suffered.  

Her mother Laura Ames, who has three other children, said: “Daisy’s symptoms were a parent’s nightmare and it was upsetting seeing her so unwell. Despite trying different things, she regularly felt exhausted and came out in painful rashes. She’d lie on the carpet and roll around to ease the terrible itchiness.”

Daisy was eventually referred to Dr Robert Boyle, a consultant paediatric allergist, at the specialist paediatric allergy clinic at St Mary’s Hospital, which has a national reputation for treating allergies in children.

She underwent a series of blood and skin prick tests and was diagnosed with about six different allergies. The diagnosis led to careful management of her diet while the family also spent a day with a specialist allergy nurse who reviewed Daisy’s skincare regime.

Mrs Ames said: “Getting a proper diagnosis and advice on managing Daisy’s allergies has transformed her and her family’s life. She is a completely different and much happier child. She has grown a lot, feels well and has loads of energy, and no longer feels sick or bloated. Her skin is much better and if there is a flare up she just takes an antihistamine.

“We’re very grateful to Dr Boyle and staff in the allergy clinic. They listened and took on board everything we said. Their advice has been invaluable and now all Daisy needs is an annual check-up with Dr Boyle.”

Dr Boyle said: “Daisy was very unwell when I first saw her and she has made a huge improvement. I am very glad that she is so much better. Allergy and our immune systems are complex, and people with allergy symptoms benefit a great deal from having an accurate diagnosis, a clear explanation and effective treatment to keep symptoms at a minimum.”