24/11/2011 16:08 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Mum Falls Into Coma "After Dyeing Hair"


The family of a 38-year-old mum of two are keeping a vigil at her bedside today after she reportedly suffered brain damage and fell into a coma after dyeing her hair.

Julie McCabe is on a life support machine after she experienced what is believed to be an allergic reaction to the L'Oreal hair dye she was using.

Just moments after rinsing the product from her hair after the 20 minute development process was complete, Julie struggled to breathe and had a heart attack.

Her husband Russell, 44, rushed her to hospital where she fell into a coma.

He and their children Luke, 20, and Abigail, 15, are now at her bedside at Airedale General Hospital, in Keighley, West Yorkshire, where doctors have warned them she may never wake up.

The Sun reports that experts from L'Oreal are helping medics in the battle to save her.

Julie's devastated dad, Keith Miller, said his daughter had been dyeing her hair without any problem for years, but began to feel unwell as she rinsed out the dark L'Oreal Preference colourant.

He told reporters: "She finished dyeing her hair and said 'I don't feel well, I can't breathe', to her husband. He rushed her to hospital and her heart stopped beating on the way.

"She is in a coma. We've spoken to the doctors and they have more or less said to us the condition she is in now is most likely how she will stay. They are not giving us much hope, it's hard to take in.

"She's 38, she's very fit, she's not overweight. She was quite active, looked after herself, she was a bubbly character, quite a strong person.

"I wouldn't wish this on anybody. It is unbelievable.

"She is my little girl, although she's 38."

Mr Miller added that his grandchildren are "struggling to cope" with what has happened to their mum.

It is thought that Julie carried out the correct procedure and did an allergy test before using the dye, but experts claim she may have developed a reaction to one of the chemicals in the product because of repeated exposure to it.

Her dad said the family have spoken to hair and scalp specialist Brian Plunkett who says Julie may have developed an allergy to the chemical para-phenylenediamine (PPD). He said: "People who are using colour all the time build it up in their systems, it stays there for the rest of your life."

Julie's distraught mum Brenda, 60, said: "PPD builds up in your system over time and this is what has caused a reaction in Julie. The doctors have shaved her head so that no more PPD can get into her through her scalp, but they are not giving us a lot of hope of her making a recovery."

Julie's parents are to meet their local Tory MP, Phil Davies, to campaign to get PPD banned.

Her dad said: "I promise for the sake of my daughter and other women to get this chemical outlawed in Britain, as it is in America.I don't want this happening to anybody else's daughter or wife."

L'Oreal said: "We are extremely concerned to hear about this serious situation. We will do everything we can to assist this lady's family and medical team with information they might need to establish what happened."

Such a sad story.