This woman is allergic to her own husband
Johanna Watkins, a 29-year-old from Minnesota, suffers from a rare disease that makes her allergic to everything, including her own husband.
Johanna has Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), a very rare disorder that compromises her immune system. Instead of her cells protecting her body, they "mutate and start attacking her body instead".
According to the Mastocytosis Society, Johanna's condition causes her to be allergic to almost everything in the world. Her reactions are triggered from anything as simple as the type of whether, stress, foods and odors, including, unfortunately, even her own husband's scent.
For Johanna, these triggers can be so severe, it can kill her.
Johanna's condition has worsened over the years. When she married Scott, the couple wasn't expecting Johanna's disease to be so severe.
"There were times three and four years ago, before we got the diagnosis, that if I was extra close to my wife, specifically if my face was close to Johanna's face, she would cough," said Scott to BBC.
Last year, however, Johannah's body became more and more antagonized.
Johanna explained that they "had noticed that when Scott would come in [to the room] I would start feeling worse and worse. My normal daily symptoms would just be aggravated." Within minutes of being near Scott, anaphylactic shock would kick in.
To minimize the amount of allergic reactions she has, Johanna lives separately from her husband, in the attic. The room has sealed windows, doors and a special air conditioning unit. Currently, no treatments have worked for Johanna, even chemotherapy.
But, despite these hardships, the couple is in it together. "We're absolutely committed to one another and we're going to wait as long as it takes to see if there is some kind of healing," Scott explained.
"I have had anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction, more times than we can keep track of. My life could end quickly. Life is frail - it can end," Johanna says.
So, Scott and her family strive to make it work. In separate rooms, they watch shows together and text about it. They have a routine with visitors, who understand they can't eat spicy foods before seeing Johanna and have to wash with a special soap.
"I have many gifts in my life, many blessings that I have to be thankful for," she says. "And that reminds me to not become selfish and just make it all about me," she said to BBC.
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