Parents heartbreak over their baby’s rare skin condition

Parents heartbreak over their baby’s rare skin condition

by Tom Martin (August 2022)

PARENTS want to raise awareness of their baby’s “brutal, chronic condition” after doctors said she was the youngest patient they had ever seen with the illness.

Mabel, who is only one-year-old, has been diagnosed with psoriasis, which is rare for babies as most people develop the condition in their 20s.

Her mum, Jacqueline Smith, who works in Bootle for Cheshire and Merseyside NHS, and dad Ian Gilmore, told the Champion how bad flare ups can “make it look like she’s been burnt” and it is “extremely distressing” for them.

They hope that by raising awareness of psoriasis in young babies that more can be done to find a cure.

Jacqueline said Mabel has suffered from post viral rashes since she was three-months-old, but needed to go to A&E just before her first birthday after blisters appeared on her skin and she had a temperature.

She said: “It wasn’t an obvious diagnosis so she had to undergo a skin biopsy under general anaesthetic. We were given the news she has psoriasis.

“We have been told that she is the youngest patient her consultant has ever seen with this. It has been absolutely relentless. During bad flare ups we have had to go to Alder Hey for her to be bound in bandages on all four limbs three times a week.

“Seeing her go through all of this has been absolutely heart-breaking for us and we’ve felt every kind of emotion, but found great comfort in how she just gets on with everything.”

Mabel has since had a tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, bilateral grommets inserted in her ears and ophthalmology surgery.

As topical steroid treatment stopped working, she is also on an immunosuppressant medication called Methotrexate.

Jacqueline said: “There are a lot of unknowns with Mabel and how she will progress and respond to treatment for this condition, which is potentially lifelong, but that doesn’t stop her. She is a thoroughly delightful and happy baby.

“She is always smiling and nothing gets her down. She is quite simply our hero. We hope to raise awareness of this brutal chronic condition by sharing Mabel’s story, and we hope one day a cure can be found.”

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