Lifewatch: Systemic Lupus Erythematosu

Reported by Claire Hosmann - email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - A woman in Ohio has an allergy to the sun so severe she fears it may kill her, and no own knows why she has the allergy.

Imagine never being able to go outside in the sun and living your live in darkness to survive.  For 34 years, Patricia Hoffman has been afraid of the sun, and she must do everything possible to stay away from it.

"I actually am poisoned by the sun and I don't even have to be directly in it for it to happen anymore," said Patricia.

Every window in her home is covered up.  Any exposure, no matter how small, can affect her.

"Having a rash all over getting blisters and ulcers in my throat having gastrointestinal reactions headache stinging of my skin," said Patricia.

"She walked out to the mail box had a little shirt with a bunch of little holes right here walked back in and they were all little blisters and red spots from where the sun hit her and it was thirty seconds," said Patricia's husband Greg Hoffman.

"My last reaction was considered anaphylactic and it lasted seventeen days," said Patricia.

She covers herself from head to toe in sun protective clothing.  Just to get to work, she must ride in total darkness.  Her husband made a blackout box in the back of his truck because tinted windows aren't enough.

And it's more than sunlight that can affect her.

"There's a certain frequency of light that affects her it's a blue frequency of light actinic light," said Greg.

After months of waiting, Patricia finally learned what was causing her problem.  She was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosu.  Now she is going through chemotherapy but still can't go outside during the day without extreme protection.

To learn more about Patricia's condition, click here.