Nut a problem!
PUBLISHED: 15:59 09 March 2009 | UPDATED: 07:11 30 May 2010
A NINE-year-old boy from Lindsell has seen his life transformed thanks to a revolutionary treatment that has helped him overcome a potentially fatal peanut allergy. Graydon Thorpe has developed a tolerance to the nut after undergoing clinical trials at Ad
A NINE-year-old boy from Lindsell has seen his life transformed thanks to a revolutionary treatment that has helped him overcome a potentially fatal peanut allergy.
Graydon Thorpe has developed a tolerance to the nut after undergoing clinical trials at Addenbrooke's Hospital. Cambridge. The trials - led by Dr Andy Clarke, Graydon's consultant - works by giving the patient a tiny amount of peanut, in the form of peanut flour, and slowly increasing the dosage.
And it has worked wonders for Great Easton Primary School pupil Graydon, who can now eat six peanuts in one sitting without reacting to them.
His mum, Tracey, said: "It has been amazing. Food stuff with 'may contain traces of...' is now part of his diet, where it never has been before.
"His treat for the achievement was to go shopping on the way home, and he managed to find £40 worth of cakes, biscuits, cereals."
Before the trial, Graydon's condition was particularly severe. The family couldn't dine out at restaurants or go on a normal holiday, while Graydon himself had to take packed lunches every time he went to a friends' parties or on a school outing.
"Even being around another child eating a peanut could send him into anaphylactic shock," Mrs Thorpe added.
Graydon was diagnosed with his allergy aged 19 months when, together with his twin brother, Callum, Mrs Thorpe tried the pair with peanut butter. While Callum was unaffected, within minutes Graydon developed swollen eyes and lips and his face became covered in hives.
"It was seriously scary," said Mrs Thorpe. "We were referred to an allergy specialist where they diagnosed severe peanut allergy. From that day we have had to completely vet his and our diets, plus carry a junior epipen everywhere we go."
While his tolerance has improved because of the trial, there is still a long way to go.
Graydon must eat six peanuts every day for six weeks, before returning to Addenbrooke's in April to be challenged with 12 peanuts under the supervision of hospital staff.
Once he reaches 32 peanuts, it is likely Graydon, like the other children on the study, will have to continue eating peanuts daily for the foreseeable future to maintain tolerance levels.
Mrs Thorpe said: "This has been life changing for us but it is not for the faint hearted either. It is very difficult for Graydon to eat peanuts as he doesn't like the taste or smell.
"For the last eight years I've also been telling him it is life threatening to even go near another child eating peanuts, so it must be scary for him too.
"It isn't without pain or fear, as I didn't sleep before his first challenge. The first dose of peanuts made him feel sick."
However, the good news far outweighs the negative, and Mrs Thorpe believes the breakthrough is "brilliant news" for thousands of allergy sufferers.
And she added: "My fear is nothing compared with Graydon's future quality of life. He knows this too - and he can't wait until he can eat out as he has been promised a stretched limo to a restaurant of his choice as his reward!