A mother from Northwood has launched an allergy support group to raise awareness after almost losing her son due to an allergy when he was a baby.
Radhika Shah, 48, launched the group because her teenage son, Saavan, has suffered from severe allergic reactions to a variety of foods since he was born.
Saavan, now 17, attends Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys School and has grown out of some allergies, but the ones he still has are life threatening and the challenges he and his mother have faced over the years has led to Radhika trying to raise awareness of the dangers of allergies.
She said: “Saavan was just under a year old when I gave him half a spoonful of baby yoghurt, and he had an allergic reaction. His whole body was covered in hives within minutes, and he was crying uncontrollably.
“We had to rush him to Watford General Hospital where the milk allergy was confirmed. We were then referred for further tests, when he had skin prick and blood tests. This was when we found out that he was also allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, sesame seed, egg, certain beans and kiwi fruit besides dairy products
“He has now grown out of some of these allergies, but the ones he has, are still life threatening.
“The group is run in conjunction with a national charity, the Anaphylaxis Campaign. When your child is diagnosed with allergies, your whole life seems to change, and people around you don’t always understand that. A lot of things that most people take for granted become a challenge.
“We hope to help others like us, by talking about issues that they may find difficult to deal with, and finding solutions so that their children can stay safe and not lose confidence.”
The group will meet every two months, on a Sunday afternoon at the end of the month. The next meeting is on Sunday, April 29 at Jubilee Hall, St John’s Church, Hallowell Rd, Northwood HA6 1DN.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend.