Boy who’s ‘allergic to winter’ gets severe rash and can’t breathe when it’s cold

A seven-year-old boy is bracing for a difficult winter.

Tommy Leitch, from Amersham, Buckinghamshire, battles severe symptoms in the cold weather.

Not only do rashes flare up across his entire body, he also experiences swelling and finds it difficult to breathe.

The primary school boy, who has been diagnosed with life-threatening cold urticaria and angioedema, experiences similar side-effects when its too hot.

This has left his mum Abigail McDonald unable to wrap him up in layers of clothes when the temperature drops.

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The parent, 26, recalled: "It all started when Tommy was five and I noticed a tiny rash on his forehead.

"I thought it was just a viral infection but the next morning he was covered from head to toe and complaining of stomach and chest pains with a swollen face and stomach.

"We immediately took him to the hospital, and he was given anti-histamines and adrenaline and we were referred to a dermatologist who diagnosed him with cold urticaria and angioedema.”

Even though the diagnosis helped to explain Tommy’s symptoms, it hasn’t helped to alleviate them.

Last winter, the boy was in and out of hospital as his allergic reaction caused him to violently vomit and struggle to breathe.

Abigail, who works as a waitress, tries to prevent flare-ups by dressing her son in suitable clothing in summer and winter.

But even though this has helped to ward off bouts of the illness, the family is in a constant state of worry.

The mum has postponed her wedding to 32-year-old Ben Leitch.

They are so worried about Tommy that they constantly worrying about needing to rush him to hospital.

Abigail explained: "It's a horrific condition and I always panic about it as it can be life threatening if Tommy doesn't get urgent medical attention.

"It is heartbreaking to witness my little boy with an oxygen mask on and with wires hanging off him in hospital but he is so brave.

"As the years have gone on, we have noticed it is both hot and cold weather conditions that cause him to have a flare up.

"I am always on guard as we never know when it is going to happen which makes it even scarier.”

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She added: "Tommy starts to worry as soon as he sees the rash which I think makes the rash worse.

"He has missed out on lots of play dates with his friends and as a family we have been unable to go on holiday or on day trips as I am too anxious in case it happens when we are on the plane or abroad…

"I had no idea people could be allergic to temperatures before Tommy which I think makes it even more difficult.

"There aren't any leaflets in my local GP so I have had to turn to Facebook support groups to learn more and try and find remedies on how to reduce the flare ups."

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