MOVING from South Africa was meant to be an exciting time for Christopher Wooll, but a devastating reaction to prescribed tablets has left him hospitalised and nearly all of his skin and lungs covered in burns.
Three months ago 21 year-old Christopher and the rest of the Wooll family moved to Britain to be close to dad Andrew’s parents Kath and Ron who live in Warwick.
But a couple of months later Christopher, a chef by profession, was rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham after his mouth blistered and his eyes became swollen following a reaction to anticonvulsant drug Lamotrigine.
He was taken to the Intensive Care Unit where he was diagnosed with Steven Johnson Syndrome toxic epidermal necrolysis – a rare and life threatening condition caused by a reaction to medication.
During his time at the hospital his skin and eyes blistered burning 95 per cent of his skin – to the point his nails fell off – he also lost three stone, suffered an infection and had to be revived after he stopped breathing.
Dad Andrew, speaking from the family’s Bidford home, told the Observer: “We returned to the UK to give my kids a brighter future as South Africa is truly in a semi-state of anarchy. We had lived there for 30 years.
“With Christopher’s health it seems to be one step forward and two steps back, it’s an absolute emotional roller coaster. Words cannot describe our shock, despair and helplessness as parents.”
Christopher’s condition has started to improve slightly to the point where he can now open his eyes and taste food.
He has also been moved to the burns unit where his skin is beginning to heal.
But the family are concerned about how he will cope when he returns home, with side effects such as severe depression and post traumatic stress looking possible.
There are also issues such as sight, joint and stomach problems, which he could suffer from.
A fund-raising page has been started to help make Christopher’s life as easy as possible when he leaves hospital.
Andrew said: “We have been given tremendous support by friends and relatives who have never given up hope. I also want to thank staff at Queen Elizabeth’s Intensive Care and Burns Units. Trust fund charity Burn Aid have also supported us to help Christopher.
“But we are keenly aware that with recovery – which is a lenghty process – he may need certain items. That is our reason to raise funds for any eventuality.
“This situation is a a parents worst nightmare and its not over, no one can predict the outcome.
Visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/christopher-needs-support to donate.