A brave little boy who has undergone six organ transplants has become allergic – to the sun.
Patrick Askham, 8, breaks out in painful hives when his skin is exposed to direct sunlight and may even need hospital treatment due to a compromised immune system.
And it means he misses playtime with older sister Molly, 10, and brother Carrick, 14, and doesn’t even go to school for fear of a flare-up.
Patrick was born with gastroschisis, a defect that means his organs were outside of his body.
Although this can be a common procedure, Patrick suffered complications and had to undergo an intestinal transplant when he was only four years old.
But his body rejected the organ so it was removed and last December he had a stomach, liver, small intestine, colon and pancreas transplant.
Mum Michelle, 37, said: “He can go outside but he needs to be covered in full sunscreen.
“Even then, last year he walked through the garden and ended up with hives.
“Right now he can’t go to school or even Asda because of it.
“But he doesn’t feel sorry at all because he’s been taught to love who he is. He is great.
“He’s a very mature eight-year-old, but he should be there choosing what ice cream he wants.
“No eight-year-old should have to go through all that.”
Complications with gastroschisis mean Patrick, from Leeds, West Yorks, also suffers from epilepsy and brittle bone disease and is often dehydrated.
Michelle, who is Patrick’s full-time carer, said when the rest of his family is spending time together outside, he needs to consider “if it’s worth getting sick.”
She added, “The thing about Patrick is that if he wants to do something, he’ll think about doing it.
“He knows he’s going to flare up and end up getting so sick and covered in burns from head to toe.
“So he has to consider whether it’s worth getting sick.”
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