While many people in the world look forward to summer so they can enjoy vacationing, swimming, and generally catching some rays, some do not. Eighteen-year-old Autumn Everitt-Brick, from Hertfordshire in England, is one such person.
So bad is Autumn’s allergy to the sun and UV light that exposing herself to it, even for a short period of time, results in terrible swelling, redness, and pain.
As she said to reporters about her life as a result of suffering from a condition known as solar urticaria, “Being allergic to the sun and heat has meant I can’t lead a normal life like any other teenager. Instead I’ve become nocturnal to escape the sun. People often think I’m lying, but it’s absolutely devastating. All I want to do is simple things in life like walk to the shops or learn how to drive.”
As poor Autumn explained, even 10 minutes out in the sun can have devastating consequences for her.
“I’d only been out there for ten minutes but my shoulders burnt so badly that my dad compared me to a human candle. The pain was horrendous,” she explained.
Autumn’s tragic story is made worse by the fact that when she does make it to one of her numerous doctor’s appointments, she has issues with the fluorescent lights in the waiting room.
Autumn said, “All of the different allergies and conditions combined are crippling and make life extremely difficult. Even when I go to the hospital or doctors I go beetroot red, because the lights in the waiting rooms are so fluorescent.”
Speaking to reporters about his daughter’s condition, Mr. Everitt-Brick said, “From the age of three, Autumn’s skin gradually became more and more irritated. We just didn’t know what was wrong with her, we tried everything to soothe her skin but it would always dry out again and become really sore. It’s horrible watching your little girl grow up and not being able to help or know what’s wrong.”
For more information about solar urticaria, you can visit the Bad.org website by clicking here.