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Allergic to water (and to her own tears), this teenager recounts her ordeal


This 14-year-old girl lives a daily ordeal. She is indeed the victim of an allergy to water which is very rare. It affects one in 230 million people. The young girl therefore risks her life every time she comes into contact with water.

Sadie Tessmer lives a excruciating pain, but she can’t even cry. Indeed, even her tears cause an allergic reaction. It also means that she rarely leaves her home, and that she had to give up school and her dream career. A real nightmare for the teenager.

It all started when Sadie noticed strange rashes after having taken a shower. She even made discomfort several times. Her mother, Amber Sallee, initially thought her daughter was taking showers that were too hot. She even has joke stating that the teenager should be allergic to cleanliness.

The diagnosis was clear

Yet the girl was diagnosed by a dermatologist in May 2022. This disease is called theaquagenic urticaria. It leads to Red plaques that scratch after exposure to water. She may be fatal if the reaction is very violent.

Very little research has been done on the subject. In fact, only 50 to 100 people around the world are affected by this allergy. So Sadie must always have two self-adrenaline injectors (EpiPen) on it. Despite this, the teenager stresses that it is ‘creepy’ to live with this disease.

Also read:

The teenager is very afraid for the future

Sadie opened up about how she feels when confronted with water. The teenager says: It’s going to hurt me so much I’m going to start crying. It makes things worse, because I’m allergic to my own tears. It stresses me out a lot. »

The 14-year-old girl has not always suffered from this disease. Since symptoms first appeared in 2021, she has had to to abandon football and swimming, which she loved. Luckily, this allergy stays external, which means Sadie can still drink water through a straw. A real nightmare for her, who hopes that by talking about her disease, research can be carried out, to perhaps find a treatment.



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