Darlington lad, seven, is allergic to his own hair

ASTHMA WOE: Junior Rucroft, of Darlington, with his mother Paula Hopps

ASTHMA WOE: Junior Rucroft, of Darlington, with his mother Paula Hopps

First published in News
Last updated
Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter (Darlington)

A NORTH-EAST schoolboy runs the risk of a life-threatening asthma attack every day because of his long list of allergies – including his own hair follicles.

Junior Rucroft, seven, lives in Darlington with his mother, Paula Hopps and his five brothers and sisters.

The Skerne Park Academy pupil has been admitted to hospital more than 50 times.

Junior and his family are using World Asthma Day on Tuesday (May 6) to raise awareness of his condition and highlight a new breath test the youngster is taking to help control his condition.

Ms Hopps said: “I’ve had phone calls from school because when he gets a bit stressed while he’s doing his work.

“He runs his hands through his hair. Then, when he touches his face, it swells up.”

The breath test, called a FeNO (Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide) test, is carried out during Junior’s regular check-ups at the James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough.

Junior was first diagnosed with asthma and allergies at the age of one after a kiss from his mother almost killed him.

Ms Hopps said: “I’d been eating a bag of nuts and I kissed him a short time afterwards.

“Suddenly, his face swelled up and he couldn’t breathe. It was terrifying and I didn’t have a clue why it was happening.

“I didn’t automatically put two and two together. The paramedics said they got there just in time. They gave him an adrenaline injection and oxygen until he got to hospital.

“He was diagnosed with asthma pretty much straight after that as he kept getting breathless and having to go back to hospital.

“His doctors also did allergy tests on him and found he’s allergic to pretty much everything – nuts, cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits, horses, grass, house dust mites, pollen, and even human hair fibre.”

It all means life is a day-to-day struggle for Junior and his family.

Ms Hopps added: “His allergies bring on asthma attacks, but he also might get random attacks if he’s running up the stairs or if he’s getting emotional about something.

“If he’s happy and laughing or if he’s crying, that can trigger an attack.

“He’s been admitted to hospital well over 50 times. Sometimes, we might just be there for a check-up and his oxygen levels are worryingly low, so we end up having to stay in overnight.”

Junior has also missed a lot of school because of being poorly and attending routine appointments every week.

Ms Hopps, who is constantly dusting, cleaning and washing to make sure there aren’t any dust mites in the house, said: “He has got quite far behind because he’s been off so much, but all that’s important to us is trying to keep him as healthy as possible.”

The FeNO tests have recently been recommended for use within the NHS, although forward-thinking medics at James Cook have been carrying them out for a number of years.

Comments (3)

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10:57am Tue 6 May 14

kirstey16 says...

hope some sort of cure / treatment found soon, must be awful :(
hope some sort of cure / treatment found soon, must be awful :( kirstey16
  • Score: 1

12:45pm Tue 6 May 14

grandmab says...

Wonder if she has tried going scent and dye free in her cleaning and personal care products? Found this helped enormously with my allergies. Like her son I have asthma I also suffered from giant hives. While pollen, dust mites and animal dander were triggers I was also allergic to my own hair. Even scent free dryer sheets triggered an attack. Now we are scent and dye free my life is more comfortable but not without risk from contact with others. The rashes on my face where my hair touched it stopped. Wish you all the best little man, hope they find you a treatment that works.
Wonder if she has tried going scent and dye free in her cleaning and personal care products? Found this helped enormously with my allergies. Like her son I have asthma I also suffered from giant hives. While pollen, dust mites and animal dander were triggers I was also allergic to my own hair. Even scent free dryer sheets triggered an attack. Now we are scent and dye free my life is more comfortable but not without risk from contact with others. The rashes on my face where my hair touched it stopped. Wish you all the best little man, hope they find you a treatment that works. grandmab
  • Score: 0

11:11am Wed 7 May 14

delboy1977 says...

I was the first person in the UK to be patch tested, i had over 1000 patches on my body for 2 days and 230 reacted, im allergic to just about everything !! but the most aggresive one was a preservative used in food, apparently this is relatively new and is used to make food have a longer shelf life its basically in everything that can go off ! its even in milk now ! i tried organic food and within weeks the difference has been ammazing and my other allergies are no where near as bad ! before i couldnt be in the room with a dog or cat now i can sit for hours before any effect, it seem the preservative in food was amplifying my allergies, if you do any research on food you will be horified what goes in it !!
I was the first person in the UK to be patch tested, i had over 1000 patches on my body for 2 days and 230 reacted, im allergic to just about everything !! but the most aggresive one was a preservative used in food, apparently this is relatively new and is used to make food have a longer shelf life its basically in everything that can go off ! its even in milk now ! i tried organic food and within weeks the difference has been ammazing and my other allergies are no where near as bad ! before i couldnt be in the room with a dog or cat now i can sit for hours before any effect, it seem the preservative in food was amplifying my allergies, if you do any research on food you will be horified what goes in it !! delboy1977
  • Score: 1

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