By Liana Jacob
MEET the brave boy who suffered such severe atopic eczema his bacteria-infested skin would “tear off” if he tried to move leaving him bedridden until a special spring-water treatment stopped his body from “shutting down”.
Director secretary, April Moffett (48), from Texas, USA, became alarmed when her son, Aidan (14), was diagnosed with severe eczema at just six-months-old.
She began frantically researching to find a natural remedy to help alleviate his symptoms, as she felt apprehensive for him to become dependent on topical creams since he was so young at the time.
However, with the severity of his condition and with his skin becoming progressively worse, she had no choice but to use what their doctors had prescribed.
As well as enduring severe eczema, Aidan also has multiple allergies including; wheat, dairy, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, seafood and seeds. This affected his life significantly and his family would have to be careful when selecting restaurants when they were out.
With Aidan’s raw skin flaking with just a touch, April had to be very careful whenever she scooped up his delicate body, which would tear on his chest and cause him to scream in pain.
Aidan’s face was covered in red rashes, would flake constantly and weep, as well as flare up due to his allergies.
While he didn’t notice when he was young, April had seen strangers stare at him and make faces at him due to his condition, which made her angry. As he got older, he began to notice the stares which affected him psychologically.
After having to quit primary school due to his eczema and having to be in and out of hospital, Aidan had to be tutored at home by a teacher from the school district.
In February 2013, Aidan was hospitalised with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA), a type of bacteria that’s resistant to several commonly used antibiotics, which means it can be harder to treat than other bacterial infections.
Aidan’s body began shutting down, he became underweight, looked malnourished despite eating healthier than usual.
In August of that year, they were invited to attend a hydrotherapy centre called Avene Hydrotherapy in France where Aidan had three weeks of treatment. April now credits this centre for the recovery of her son who has just completed year nine at school.
“This truly broke my heart. Although Aidan didn’t really notice when he was younger how people would stare at him and make faces, I did, and it made me angry,” April said.
“There was one incident when a lady was looking at him with disgust because he was having a scratching fit, she said something negative and it took everything in my power to not say something nasty back at her.
“As he got older he really started to notice people’s reactions and that made it harder on him mentally. He would always tell me how ugly he was and why can’t he be normal like us.
“He was pretty much bedridden for years. His skin got so bad that he sometimes couldn’t walk and would have a hard time moving any part of his body.
“When he was little my husband and I would have to carefully scoop him up from the couch to take him to another part of the house.
“If we tried to lift him up like you would any other child, his skin would tear on his torso and he would scream in agony.
“Bath time was pure hell. He was so dry, and his skin smelled of bacteria; we needed to cleanse it, so he wouldn’t get staph, but it was excruciatingly painful for him and he would scream in agony if I tried to bathe him.
“Sometimes it was so bad that I would have to get into the bath, clothes and all, just to cradle him and help him feel secure.
“Those were truly dark, dark days for my baby and us as a family. We couldn’t plan vacations or outings without thinking about how it was going to affect Aidan.
“He had to be pulled from school in second grade and didn’t go back until fifth grade. In his early years from first year to the time he was nine-years-old, the doctors tried to control his eczema with topical steroids and oral immunosuppressants.
“It was a bandage only and would eventually cause him more anguish and pain. We did everything in our power to avoid flares, so we pulled all the carpet out of our house.
“I cleaned daily with natural cleaners, I washed his clothes and linens separately with vinegar and double hot rinse to help get rid of dust mites. None of it helped.
“Back before we went to Avene; anything and everything triggered his flare ups. We would drive ourselves crazy trying to find out what caused the flares, but later realised he was reacting to everything.
“Now he flares up with seasonal pollen and occasionally dust mites will irritate his skin and sinuses. But, his skin is controlled with showering in a filtered shower and using his Avene products.”
The deterioration of his health almost made them lose hope until Aidan was invited for treatments at Avene Hydrotherapy.
Aidan can now live a regular life like his peers, with his remarkable recovery.
“Honestly, we owe his improvements to going to the Avene Hydrotherapy centre in Avene France. In 2013, he had been hospitalised in February with a super staph and super fungal infection,” April said.
“His body was slowly shutting down and we were out of options other than putting him on another immunosuppressant with horrible side effects.
“He was underweight, looked malnourished even though he was eating healthier than he ever had and he wasn’t growing.
“In August, we were given the opportunity to attend the hydrotherapy centre for three weeks of treatment. It has been proven that this hydrotherapy centre has beneficial effects to people with skin conditions.
“It works by treating the skin with daily bath treatments with the Avene Thermal Spring water as well as drinking the water daily for the three weeks.
“This water passes through rocks and soil which dissolve to add minerals to the water. Since going there in 2013, he has improved dramatically.
“He went back in 2014 and his last treatment was in 2015. While at home we use all the products that he used at the hydrotherapy centre and it has continued to help.
“He is actually growing and the food that he is eating is actually nourishing his body. For the first time in his life he was able to participate in sports with his schoolmates.
“We as a family can finally plan vacations without having Aidan’s condition be the first thing that we worry about. He can play outside with his friends whereas before his friends would invite him to go places and he couldn’t go.
“I wanted to start Aidan’s Scratch Pad to let others know that they are not alone and to help in whatever way I can even if that means giving Aidan’s testimony on what helped him.
“To trade ideas about treatments, and just having something in common. Through the years we have helped dozens of families all over the world by letting them know what we did and just being there for them in their time of need.”