31. Oct, 2013

Marian Adejokun's Story

A teenager nearly died when her skin peeled off after she had a one in a million allergic reaction... to eye drops.

Marian Adejokun, 19, from Croydon, was left covered in blisters from head to toe and lost layers of her skin after using a small dose of over the counter medicine Optrex.

She spent more than three weeks in intensive care at the Royal London Hospital where baffled doctors diagnosed her with life threatening medical condition Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

Marian Adejokun
 Marian Adejokun

Marian Adejokun suffered a severe reaction to eye drops, which left her in intensive care for three weeks. She still has to be fed through a tube in her throat

 Marian said: 'Everywhere was swollen. My nose was huge and my eyes were so red you could take a spoon and scrape out the blood.'

Marian was prescribed the Optrex eyedrops on January 11 after complaining of an itchy eye.

Her mother Remi applied them before she went to bed but within hours red lumps had appeared all over her body and she was quickly rushed to hospital.

Ms Adejokun said: 'Her face was full of blisters, her lips were very swollen and the doctors still didn't know what was going on.

'I was crazy, beyond the worried stage and near to losing my mind. After a week I thought there was no hope but then as she lay on the bed, unable to talk, I said "Marian, you've just made it to university, that's your dream" and she moved her toe.

'Realising she could hear me I started to sing our favourite songs to her. Instead of crying all the time I went to the intensive care unit and danced.'

Student Marian lost so must skin she had to be wrapped in a foil sheet and still has to be fed through a hole in her throat.

Specialist skin experts told Ms Adejokun did not believe her daughter would survive.

She said: 'There were so many blisters on Marian and her skin was just tearing off.

'I saw death knocking at my daughter's door, all because of an eye drop.'

Marian was finally removed from the intensive care unit on February 8. She was allowed home on February 19th and now faces months of hourly moisturising treatment before her skin will fully heal.

But determined Marian, who was born with a hole in her heart and recently had back surgery to cure osteosclerosis, never stopped believing she would pull through.

Doctors have hailed her recovery as a "miracle."

She said: 'When I was in the intensive care unit, crying in pain, all I thought of was coming home.

'I've overcome a lot of in my life. Losing my skin because of an eye drop is just another obstacle I've made it through.'