Horrific images show 21-year-old 'burned alive' after suffering massive allergic reaction to medication he WASN'T prescribed | Entertainment News | Celebrity News | Interviews | Hollywood News | Daily Style Entertainment

Horrific images show 21-year-old 'burned alive' after suffering massive allergic reaction to medication he WASN'T prescribed


A young man was left fighting for his life after suffering a severe allergic reaction to prescription medication.
Christopher Wooll, 21, said he nearly 'burned alive' when his body erupted in blisters after just 10 days of taking mood-stabilising drug lamotrigine.
Mr Wooll was not prescribed the drug - which is used to treat bipolar disorder and epilepsy - but decided to self-medicate.
Skin rashes are a well-documented side-effect of lamotrigine - and doctors usually start patients on a low dose as a result. 
He was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), a rare but life-threatening skin condition usually triggered by a reaction to medication or an infection.
His organs began to fail and doctors at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital had to battle a series of complications - at one point Mr Wooll stopped breathing
 
They managed to save his life, and he is finally recovering at his home in Bidford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire.
Mr Wooll's father Andrew, a start-up company director, and his mother Jazmin, an accountant, drove his son to Warwick Hospital A&E after his face erupted in blisters after work.
He said: 'When we realised what it was I was straight on the internet and we started to realise it was life threatening.
'We broke down when the doctors took us aside and told us he might not survive. It was just awful.
'And then we had to go back into the room and put a brave face on for Chris.
'By then he had blisters and burns all over his body, his eyes were swollen up and he was in pain.
'He had to be wrapped up in bandages and have his hair shaved off.
'It was a real life ho
Mr Wooll had trained and qualified as a chef in South Africa, and after arriving in Bidford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, soon began working for a local restaurant.  
The family were settling in well but, on 28 June, Mr Wooll began complaining of flu symptoms.
He said: 'I did not really think anything of it at first, but the next day at work my face and eyes began to swell up.

STEVENS-JOHNSON SYNDROME - A POTENTIALLY FATAL REACTION

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) is a rare condition arising from ‘over-reaction’ of the immune system to a trigger such as a mild infection or a medicine.
It leads to blistering and peeling of the skin and surfaces of the eyes, mouth and throat - and can be fatal.
It was named after two US paediatricians who first described it in 1922. 
The most common triggers for Stevens-Johnson syndrome in children are infections, usually viral. 
Common infectious triggers include herpes, mumps, flu and the Epstein Barr virus. 
In adults, reactions to medicines, such as pain killers and antibiotics, are more common. In many cases, the trigger cannot be identified.
SJS begins with flu-like symptoms. These are followed by a painful red or purplish rash that spreads and blisters - and then the top layer of the affected skin dies and sheds. 
Possible complications include permanent blindness and lung damage.
Once diagnosed doctors will immediately stop the patient taking the offending drug.
Treatment includes IV fluids and high calorie formulas to promote healing.
Antibiotics are given when necessary to prevent secondary infections such as sepsis.
Pain medications such as morphine can make the patient more comfortable. 
'When I got in the car to go home I had blood blisters in my mouth and on my lips. It was pretty scary.'
It emerged he had begun taking lamotrigine, which is used to treat depression in bipolar disorder.
Stevens-Jonson syndrome is a known side-effect of the medication.
The next day Mr Wooll's body continued to blister so the family went to Warwick's A&E department twice, before Mr Wooll began to feel increasingly unwell and was admitted to hospital.
A rash was spreading across his body and he was losing his vision.
On 2 July, he was transferred by ambulance to Queen Elizabeth hospital's intensive care unit.
His father said: 'When he got to Birmingham he had 40 per cent burns on his body.
'But this got worse and worse until it was 100 per cent.'
Doctors battled to keep him alive, but the burns were spreading and his organs began to fail.
He was put into an induced coma but stopped breathing and had a tube put down his throat.
It was then the family were told the devastating news he may not survive, as doctors battled to save him.
His father said: 'His skin peeling was like being flayed alive.
'I've never experienced such pain and utter helplessness.
'It was extremely difficult for us. We only have one car at the moment, so I had to drive my wife to work, then drive to see Chris, and go and see my parents. 
'I was probably driving about five hours a day.'
The skin on Mr Wooll's entire body peeled off, and he suffered multiple organ failure, corneal defects, two episodes of blood poisoning, low blood pressure, and he lost a total of 3.9st (25kg).
But he managed pulled through, and, though scarred, is now facing a long recovery. 
He is currently on a strict regime of 10 separate medications, a combination of creams, lotion, tablets, eye drops and mouthwashes he has to take a number of times each day.
Mr Wooll said: 'It's a little like my life is governed by my meds at the moment, but it's not that bad.


Mr Wooll said: 'It's a little like my life is governed by my meds at the moment, but it's not that bad.
When I was in hospital I was quite often sedated so it wasn't too painful.
'It was really scary when I started to lose my sight. It was perfect up until then.
'Fortunately the doctors are really pleased with my progress.
He added he feels 'really lucky' to be alive.
He said: 'Most people who have SJS as badly as I had it don't survive.
'I had never even heard of it before I was admitted to hospital.
'The doctors were fantastic and I would like to thank them all.
'I'm not sure what I'm going to do next. I'm just happy to take life step by step at the moment.

His father called his survival a 'miracle' and thanked those who had supported them.
He said: 'For him to have been through what he has been through and still be here, we are extremely grateful. It's a miracle.
'We are also hugely thankful for the Burnaid charity which have provided us with so much support.'
The family have launched a fundraising page to help with the costs of Christopher's recovery and to help raise awareness of SJS.
Accord, which makes the brand of lamotrigine Mr Wooll took, said: 'We are sorry to hear a patient has suffered an adverse reaction to a medication manufactured by Accord, but would like to stress this is a medicine available on prescription only.
'Nobody should ever take medicines have not been prescribed for them, or have been prescribed for someone else, and patients should always read the information leaflet included in the pack.'



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