Sophie Willis has a life-threatening allergy to all types of foods excepts vegetables and rice. If she eats something that triggers her rare syndrome, she can easily break out in a rash, have seizures, or even a deadly anaphylactic shock which can kill her.
But food isn’t the only thing that triggers her allergies; the 25-year-old is also affected by certain fragrances, thunder and even sunlight.
Doctors Didn’t Believe Her at First
25-year-old Sophie Willis is a wedding designer who is living with a rare blood condition called mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) that only affects 1 out of every 150,000 people. Due to the syndrome, Willis’ body has an unfavorable reaction towards almost every food except vegetables and rice. Among the foods that can trigger a life-threatening allergic reaction are meats, dairy, yeast, and all types of preservatives found in processed foods.
Sophie spent years trying to understand why her body reacted so severely every time she ate something wrong, but none of the doctors she consulted had any answers for her.
The first physician she visited years ago thoughts that she was lying and sent her to a therapist thinking that there was no way that her bizarre symptoms, like having a severe reaction to thunder or sunlight, could be true.
But Sophie wasn’t crazy – she was simply suffering from a condition that most doctors weren’t familiar with. The 25-year-old was wrongly diagnosed by many medical experts who believed that her seizures were caused by a Lyme disease.
Sophie visited dozens of hospitals and after thorough scans and blood tests, it was revealed that she was suffering from a rare food allergy… to every food except rice and vegetables.
A Life-Threatening Syndrome
Ever since her diagnosis, Willis has to tread carefully, avoiding restaurants, takeout meals, and packaged foods altogether. Eating at a party or family brunch also makes her anxious since one wrong move could end up in a trip to the emergency room.
When the wedding veil designer did not know about her life-threatening allergies, she would have severe reactions like going into anaphylactic shock or a seizure several times in a day. Now she has to take more than 60 pills every day to keep her dangerous condition under control.
Willis said that she was completely healthy and physically fit until the year 2014 when she first started showing signs of sickness. She would dine out with her friends regularly and participate in half marathons until her seizures started to become more recurrent.
After almost every meal, Sophie would lose consciousness or her lips and throat would swell up, making it hard for her to breathe. Over the next two years, she visited over 30 hospitals and got countless tests and checkups but the doctors found her symptoms confusing.
Living on Rice and Vegetables
Finally, one doctor connected the dots and diagnosed her with MCAS where the patients body has a severe reaction to all foreign objects, including food. Thankfully, she can still consume all kinds of vegetables and rice without breaking into hives. Sophie says that it isn’t fun to live just on vegetables and sometimes she is tempted to eat out just like normal people, but having a strict diet keeps her condition in control so she doesn’t suffer from life-threatening strokes or blackouts.
Willis says that she is also affected by loud sounds like thunder and sunlight which can give her severe rashes and trigger unbearable headaches. Even hot water can cause her skin to react, which is why she has to take cool showers – even in winter. The 25-year-old claims that her allergies are extremely unpredictable; one day she will be completely fine going out in the sun and the next day, even the slightest temperature change will trigger a severe allergic reaction.
Willis says that she misses her favorites foods like cheese, fruits, pies, and desserts but unfortunately, she can only eat French fries or vegetable salads when she goes to restaurants. She is currently working with different charities to raise donations and awareness for those who suffer from this debilitating syndrome and don’t get the medical and financial help they need to combat their condition.