AT just five years old, Ava Sloan is no stranger to the terrifying, life-threatening effects of severe allergic reactions.

Egg and nut allergies mean she must not eat either, or foods containing them - but she has endured seven episodes of anaphylaxis, or extreme allergic reaction, due to accidental contact.

Mum Daniella, who is running a support group, told the Argus of the stresses of looking after a child for whom every meal and snack must be vetted.

“The first time was when she was six months old. I fed her scrambled egg and she went floppy in my arms. That ended with a blue light to the hospital. I thought she’d died,” said Mrs Sloan, who lives in Newport.

“The last time was when she had an ice cream that had chopped hazelnuts on the top.

“It’s a constant worry. I suffer from anxiety because of it. I’m a fussy mum, and Ava gets anxious too. She constantly looks at me for reassurance over food.”

Anti-histamines and an asthma pump are among the treatments at the ready, and if Ava’s breathing problems persist, a needle pen can be used to deliver an adrenalin injection. She has two of these at home, and two at school.

Mrs Sloan’s and husband Tom’s other daughter Molly, aged two, is not affected.

Mrs Sloan’s support group for people affected by the condition, is backed by the charity Anaphylaxis Campaign and meets on Tuesday, from 10am-noon, at the Raw Juice Bar, on Upper Dock Street, Newport.

“I want to share my story with other parents as you feel so alone and people don’t always understand the anxiety surrounding it,” said Mrs Sloan.

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