A 12-year old girl has been forced to spend a staggering five months indoors because of her allergy to the COLD.
Abbie Tully has cold urticaria, and has been unable to leave her home since being diagnosed last November.
The youngster could experience a deadly allergic reaction if she gets cold - in it's mildest form, the condition causes a burning rash to develop all over her skin - but any sudden change in temperate could send her into anaphylactic shock. To guard against this, Abbie has to carry an Epi-pen syringe of adrenlin with her at all times.
Her condition has forced her to leave her school for the cold spell, and attend a special unit for children with long-term illness.
Her mum Nina, 38, told The Sun: "Both of us have spent the last five months cooped up indoors and I've spent a small fortune on thermal underwear, hats, gloves, coats and scarves for her.
"Within minutes of being outside the reaction spreads all over her legs, arms and face, even if it's not that cold.
"She is desperate for the weather to warm up so she can play outside. Sometimes all she wants to do is go for a ride on her bike but she can't."
Nina, who is Abbie's full-time carer, explained that her condition started - ironically - when the family left Edinburgh for the seaside time of Bournemouth. Nina describes Abbie as always being 'a sickly child' who developed eczema when she was just four months old.
"Blood tests showed that she was allergic to milk and eggs and then at six months old she was diagnosed with asthma.
"She was always in and out of hospital with chest infections and pneumonia and she's also allergic to dogs, cats, cows, pollen and feathers," she said, adding that despite this, every thing was 'pretty normal' until they moved to Bournemouth.
After taking a paddle in the sea last April, Abbie emerged with itchy hives all over her body. After first suspecting a water allergy, doctors eventually diagnosed cold urticaria when the rash reappeared when the weather changed in the winter - Abbie once again broke out in hives after waiting for her bus on a cold November morning.
Her mum recalls: "She rang me up hysterical and begged me to let her come home. The reaction was awful and she said people were staring at her - she was mortified.
"Up until that point it had not been that cold but that was the first of the cold weather. She's been at home pretty much ever since."
Nina says there is no cure for Abbie's condition, but the family are learning to cope.
What an awful allergy for Abbie to endure! Have you ever heard of it before?
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