When we were first introduced to Jack, he was a young lad who struggled to travel anywhere without triggering an attack.
“I’m OK whenever I’m by meself, but as soon as I got to meet new mates I get all wheezy and bleedy – my Mum thinks I’m allergic to making friends.”
Growing up can often be a real challenge for some kids.
It’s easy for us adults to forget, but the schoolyard can often be an unforgiving place and it’s important to remember that the incidents that occur to kids during these sophomore years of education often shape the way they interact socially for the rest of their lives.
During these formative years, children are ushered through a strangely rushed, unrealistically structured simulacrum of what their later life might become. They’re thrown into rooms with strangers of their own age who they spend years getting to know. In this time, each child will slowly be understanding and learning more about themselves, as well as their class mates, but the way that they will end up socialising as adults will largely depend on their peer group.
Unfortunately for Jack, when we first met him, his peer group had by and large turned against him.
Being allergic to a number of allergens, both food-based and air borne, Jack found it difficult getting through a conversation without either sneezing, convulsing wildly or suffering explosive nosebleeds. This litany of symptoms became a barrier to his making any friends as he was often mercilessly ridiculed for not being able to make it through an hour’s class without spraying any amount of mucus, blood or, in extreme cases, fragments of his own shredded nasal passage across his desk and onto his class mates.
Even his parents struggled to like him.
We first received word from Jack in the form of a letter and he’s given permission for us to reproduce some of it here:
I’m writing to you today to ask for help. My name is Jack and I am 12 years old. For 3 years now I have been sneezing, having fits and nose bleeds. I do not know what it is that is making it happen and my Mum and Dad have given up taking me to the doctors – they think that I am doing it on purpose to get out of school because I am being bullied a lot.
The truth is that I didn’t get bullied until I started getting ill. The kids in my class make fun of me all the time and none of the girls like me because there’s always blood on my shirts and hands and school books.
Can you find out what is wrong with me so I can live a normal life and be a normal teenager when I turn 13?
Thank you very much
We were moved by Jack’s honest letter and made it our goal to find him and help him, so that he could get on the road to recovery and claim the normal life that he had been deprived of.
Thankfully, we were able to successfully track him down, talk to is parents and get our specialists out to him. His acute form of hay fever mixed with a rare thinness of the blood was the reason for his embarrassing symptoms – we were happy to get him the treatment he needed, as well as a brand new latex-rubber suit to wear to school – we’ve not heard from him in a while, but we’re sure his bullying days are over for good now.