Toddler lives with threat of attack
GABBY Marler, 3, is so allergic to life it is unlikely she will go to school, join a playgroup or experience a sleepover.
Her multiple allergies, including dust mites, air-conditioning, humidity, mould and soap, could prove deadly and there is nowhere on the planet that is safe for her ... not even her own home.
Gabby’s little body rarely rests as sneaky triggers lurk everywhere.
The Queensland tot lives daily with the threat of an anaphylactic attack and her skin is ripped to shreds due to the endless tormenting itch of painful sores and rashes.
She cannot tolerate most foods, with meat, vegetables and fruit her daily menu. Dust mites are enemy No.1.
“Every day we have a mantra that we repeat. ‘I am not itchy, I am not itchy’,” her mother Tiffany Marler said.
Doctors suggested that the only safe environment for Gabby could be a medical bubble but Ms Marler said that she would do everything she could to avoid her daughter being forced into solitary confinement.
“I want her to run and play with her sister in her own home,” she said.
The stress on the family is crippling. The Marler house and yard are among the cleanest in the country as mum is on a constant rotation of scrubbing and washing and making meals from scratch.
“I have to clean everything inside and out from top to bottom every day just in case there is the slightest bit of dust. Clothes and bedclothes are on a constant wash cycle,” Ms Marler said.
“I have another little girl Adalynn, who is 18 months, and my husband is working all hours to pay for the medical bills.” One in 20 children in Australia has a food allergy and food-induced anaphylaxis has doubled in the past decade. Hospital admissions have increased five times in the past 20 years and fatalities increased by 10 per cent each year. The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute found that two in every three children would outgrow food allergies by age four.
“At the moment, it seems there is no light at the end of the tunnel for Gabby,” Ms Marler said. “It would be amazing if she improved as she gets older. In the meantime, we dream of moving from the home we are in to build a home that is danger-free.
“Gabby needs a home that has special floors, aircon and paint,” she said.
TOUGH TIMES: Gabby Marler, 3, with her sister Adalynn, 1. Picture: AAP/Claudia Baxter