Friday, 26 December 2008

Christmas Bad News For Sufferers of Turkey Allergies

It may be the season of good cheer for the rest of us but medical experts warn the festive season could spell trouble for those with a rather unusual condition.

Twelve-year-old Joshua Rumston first discovered he was allergic to turkey when he was six years old.

"I remember eating turkey and then a few minutes later I felt a bit woozy." he explains. "So my Mum told me to go and have a lie-down. I thought maybe I'd eaten too many Christmas sweets." Fast forward twenty minutes however and Joshua was only feeling slightly better.

"We didn't want to call a doctor out on Christmas day but we couldn't think what else to do", says his Mum Rosie Rumston who also has two other children with allergies less festive than Joshua's. "In the end the doctor said he shouldn't have turkey ever again in case he went pale and needed another lie-down. Of course we were shocked but at least we knew what was making him so ill."

Now Rosie says Christmas at the Rumston's is a very different business "The rest of us all have turkey. I make sure of that. I don't want my children to feel that they've missed out on a normal childhood just because of Joshua. We have to be really careful to avoid putting any turkey on Joshua's plate though, just one bite could potentially kill him, if his allergy has gotten much much worse since last time."

Joshua doesn't miss out completely on the Christmas fun though "We do our best to make sure he still gets to join in the fun, he has a full plate of sprouts, boiled potatoes and lumpy gravy which we liquidise and pour into the giant cocoon he wears throughout December. He loves to peer out through the air vent and watch us ripping open his presents for him."

Sadly Joshua is not alone. Experts say nationwide as many as three people may be allergic to turkey while another 4 million don't really like it very much. They say sufferers should seek their expensive advice before tucking in to a festive meal.

(Photo by Ian Britton from