It was early January. Christmas was over with and the 2 youngest girls were back at school. Dot was just the same. Her and I were both at a really low point. I’d always kept positive with her in the past. If a treatment failed I was ready to get on with plan B or C or whatever plan I had lined up next. Only this time I had no plan B. We were still convinced all the medical professionals were missing something. There was something seriously wrong with her and they’d find it when it was too late.
One night I decided to ask a Facebook friend to post anonymously for me on one of the eczema support groups. She put a plea out for me asking if anyone else had a child with severe eczema that was having the health issues and symptoms that our Dot was having. I wasn’t really expecting to hear anything back but the post got two replies back quite quickly.
One was from a lady in London who said her daughter had been exactly the same as Dot. She had been in and out of hospital with infections and nothing had worked for her until she heard about, and contacted a Private Doctor who had turned her daughters life around. The other was from a lady who’s son had been treated by the same Dr 7 yrs before. She had contacted him after seeing him on a morning TV show. She lived about an hour from where we live, which somehow made her seem more ‘real’. That sounds awful, but going having gone through all that we had, I was really untrusting of everything and everyone.
I was particularly interested in what the London lady had to say, as her daughter seemed to have had it as bad as our Dot. So I searched the support group for her story. It all sounded so positive. The lady’s daughter had been turned around in a matter of days.
Then another reply came from a mother of a baby who’d had a horrendous time with infections, etc. I was starting to get excited about this. I spent the next week googling and searching for more info on this Doctor. I discovered he lived in South Africa but also worked in London for part of the year, and his consultation was via E mail. He specialised in childhood eczema and had treated over 8,000 patients. I read the testimonials on his website and saw nothing but positives. I was a bit nervous at the thought of putting our daughter’s health in the hands of a doctor we were unlikely to ever meet, but somehow it seemed the right thing to do. So after talking it through with our family and friends, we decided to contact him – Dr Richard Aron.
On the 11th of January, we emailed Dr Aron with details of the last few years. He replied almost immediately and we sent him photos of Dot, along with the £80 consultation fee. He emailed a prescription to a chemist in London, gave us directions for use, and assured us he would soon have her back on track. Despite the years of failed treatments, I had a good feeling about Dr Aron. I’ve no idea why, but I just knew that this was going to work.
And work it did. On Wednesday the 15th of January, we started the treatment. The prescription was a mixture of moisturizer, steroid and antibiotic – the bulk of it being the moisturizer. We were instructed to apply the mix 6 times a day for for a week then e-mail Dr Aron with photos and a progress report.
The first time we applied the cream, Dot said it felt a bit stingy but soothing (I remember this thanks to my diary). By the end of day one, I could see a difference in her face. It was only slight but it didn’t seem as inflamed. Day 2, she was still sore and dry but full of beans. When she got up on Day 3 her face was pale and peeling like sunburn. She was still awake at midnight but then had the best sleep she’d had in ages.
Day 4 was Saturday and she was bouncing. It was as though her life had been switched back on. She and our other 2 girls were on a high. They had their sister back and they were delighted. We were delighted! It was like a party in our house that night. The girls got an armful of snacks and all slept in the same room. We were completely overwhelmed by the change in her.
By the end of the first week, her skin had calmed down enormously, her energy levels were up and she was laughing and playing with her sisters again. She was still a little tired and had a few small sweating episodes but apart from that we were amazed by the change in her in just a week.
After the first 7 days,the applications were reduced to 4 to 5 times a day. We mostly did 4 in a day.
A few weeks into treatment, we went back to the GP to show him the amazing results and to ask for the creams to be prescribed on the NHS. We expected that, after seeing her suffer so long, he would be delighted for her. We didn’t expect the response he gave.
No way was he going to prescribe something a private doctor had suggested. He said it would be seen as the NHS funding private treatment and that would be illegal – despite the fact that we must had had tens of thousands of pounds worth of products out of the NHS over the past 5 years, not to mention the cost of hospital admissions, and none of them had worked!
And yet here was our Dot, sitting in front of him, looking better than she had in years and he wasn’t interested in the slightest. I left feeling very emotional. To get the creams prescribed would have been a big help financially, but aside from that I couldn’t get my head round the fact that he had no interest in how good her skin was looking and how quickly her health was improving. Dot’s grandparents were paying for the creams for her but that was beside the point. They shouldn’t have to. For one thing, she was a child who was entitled to free prescriptions and all the elements of Dr Aron’s mix were available on NHS prescription.
By chance the following week my sister sent me a cutting from the telegraph newspaper. It stated that if something was working for you and it was approved by NICE,then you were entitled to ask for it on the NHS.
A couple of weeks later Dot had an appointment with a Dermatologist. We hadn’t seen her before, so quickly went through the last few years and told her where we were with Dr Aron’s treatment. We got more or less the same response as the GP. She went on to say that long term topical steroid and antibiotic use wasn’t recommended and was in fact dangerous. That was when I lost it. I ranted on and on. “For the best part of 10 years she’s been given neat steroids to slap on all over her body. She’d been given antibiotic after antibiotic and it had worked, yet here you are refusing her something that is greatly diluted and more than anything it was working! What is wrong with you people?! You should all be delighted for her!”
She still wasn’t having any of it. I then pulled out and cited the Telegraph article and asked who I could complain to. The nurse in the room actually told me to write to our local MP. The Dr eventually agreed to recommend our GP prescribe the creams which we could then mix at home. I came out of that appointment furious, that yet again I’d had to fight to get something to help my daughter.
During the following months, we continued with the treatment, e-mailing Dr Aron regularly with progress reports and photographs. Our Dot continued to improve and started going more regularly to HTTS – the out of school tuition service that she had started when she had been off school several months. They were amazed and delighted at the change in her.
I was also spending more time on the Facebook eczema support groups. I wanted to share our Dot’s success with other families that were suffering. A few of the mums took our reccomendations on board and also went on to have fantastic results with Dr Aron, so therefore passed on their experience. One of the mums set up a group for people who were using, or thinking of using, Dr Aron’s treatment regime. Its called ‘Dr Aron eczema treatment discussion group‘. The group started with about 8 members and now has over a thousand members!
Dot went back to school in September into year 9. She had been off for 18 months. She struggled in the early weeks. After so long away, she was finding it a bit overwhelming, but with the support of the school and with her friends by her side, she’s now doing fantastically well. After going to hell and back,and living a half life for many years, Dot is now living life to the full.
Dot asked me to share her story so other families may be helped from her journey. We will keep on spreading the word about Dr Aron and hope that one day, the way that eczema is treated will be changed. If you or your child is struggling with eczema that you can’t control, please take comfort from our story and don’t ever give up.
There is light at the end of the tunnel,our Dot is living proof.
Thank you for taking the time to read..x