Photos show a young boy suffering from a deadly allergic reaction… after he was mistakenly diagnosed with chickenpox.

*Warning distressing images

Three-year-old Joel Greaves, from Leicester, had to be put on a ventilator and was wrapped in bandages to help heal his sore and blistered skin, reports The Sun.

Doctors first diagnosed the young boy with chickenpox but soon realised it was Steven’s Johnson Syndrome – a rare but life-threatening skin condition that is usually an allergic reaction to medication or an infection.

Mum, Tammy, 32, was told by doctors that they couldn’t guarantee that her son would survive as one-in-five die from the condition.


Tammy said: “He had suffered from chicken pox once before and the symptoms were very similar so we thought it was unlikely he would have it for a second time but we had no idea what else it could be.

“That was until his whole body started to blister and his eyes were swollen shut.”


Steven’s Johnson Syndrome is so rare that Tammy found herself looking up the condition online to find answers about her son’s illness.

She now wants to raise awareness of the syndrome to help others recognise the symptoms.

“Joel was one of the lucky ones but if this condition isn’t diagnosed and treated quickly enough it can be fatal,” she added.

Stevens-Johnson syndrome symptoms include:
•Facial swelling
•Tongue swelling
•Skin pain
•A red or purple skin rash that spreads within hours to days
•Blisters on your skin and the mucous membranes of your mouth, nose, eyes and genitals
•Shedding of your skin

If you have Stevens-Johnson syndrome, several days before the rash develops you may experience:
•Sore mouth and throat
•Burning eyes

Poor little man, so glad he was such a fighter.

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  • Thank you for sharing. So glad Joel is ok now xx


  • Oh my goodness. There is one photo there that is pretty shocking. I am so glad he came through alright though. I think some people can become blase about other’s allergies. I am probably guilty of this as I have had so many experiences of people saying they are allergic to such and such but then you see them eating what they say they are allergic to. That really annoys me.


  • Oh no, poor little darling. The images are so confronting I can only imagine how painful it must have been for him.


  • What a horrible reaction for this boy.


  • Oh! What a terrible reaction!


  • OMG! How scary that must have been for them all!! Would be horrible to see your baby looking like that. I hope they find out what caused it.


  • Joel is certainly a fighter. In fact he is a miracle. His skin would have been so painful, he wouldn’t able to stay still or handle the treatment to remove the dead skin if he was awake during that time.
    Hopefully he had only had one medication and they know which one it is. I suggest he wears a Medic Alert disc if some type which lists the details.


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