They sleep in separate bedrooms—but not because they don’t love each other. Johanna Watkins, 29, who is allergic to dust, food, and chemicals, is unfortunately, also allergic to her husband.
Johnna, stays in her own room, where the windows are sealed, there’s no sunlight, the room is wrapped in plastic and purified air is pumped in. She spends her time online, reading books, or calling friends and family. She can only eat ground lamb, beef, cucumbers, and carrots. Her husband Scott sleeps downstairs in their house and can’t have physical contact with her.
Johanna has mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) and is allergic to most human scents, including her husband. It took 30 doctors for one to diagnose her. The only times she leaves her bedroom is for doctor visits—and it’s not pleasant when she’s exposed to outside air.
“As soon as that door opens, I can feel it. My body goes into complete attack mode,” Johanna toldFox 9. “It feels like my body is waging war on itself. My throat automatically tightens. It kind of feels like Darth Vader doing a choke hold.”
Mast cells are a white blood cell which control our immune system. Johanna’s release chemicals at the wrong times, in the wrong places. Her case is so extreme she hasn’t yet responded to any treatment.
The family has started a GoFundMe page, where they have raised over $100,000 for treatment for Johanna. The page descibes her condition, saying that at the moment, "her body only tolerates the presence of her siblings, and they have bravely taken on the role of her hands-on caregivers."
"There is no known cure for this disease, and its treatment is a complicated puzzle...For two years, we have been trying various medications without success and recently underwent four rounds of chemotherapy in an attempt to stop her aggressive case."
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