A YOUNG girl who has been left virtually housebound due to a severe allergic reaction to sunlight was given a VIP tour of a popular visitor attraction.
Ten-year-old Megan Hume, of Willington Quay, has become a virtual prisoner in her home following the sudden onset of the extreme allergic reaction back in July this year.
Her condition is so severe that even watching television or the light from an electric bulb can cause a painful reaction.
Exposure to sunlight for only a few minutes results in rashes, blisters, burns and swellings.
After hearing of her plight and her wish to visit, staff at Tynemouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium offered Megan and her family, plus a family from South Shields whose two children are also highly sensitive to light, a special VIP tour.
Last Wednesday they closed the attraction and made sure there were no lights which could cause a reaction.
Blue Reef’s Anna Pellegrino said: “When we heard about Megan’s plight and that she wanted to come and visit we were really moved.
“So much of what the rest of us see as normal everyday activities have suddenly been taken away from this little girl and we’re hoping this visit will help her forget about her problems for a little while and just enjoy herself.
“We had to take a series of special precautions and alter the amounts of light in certain areas.”
As well as her mum Michelle, Megan was joined by her brother Thomas, best friend Emily and the other family.
Michelle said: “We had not met the other family before today, just spoken on the phone and e-mailed them. As this is such a special thing we thought it would be nice if they could enjoy it with Megs and it finally gave us a chance to meet up.”
Michelle and Megan’s stepdad, Liam, has been battling for her to receive urgent medical care and is hoping to secure an appointment with a specialist early in the new year.
They have enlisted the help of North Tyneside MP Mary Glindon and have set up a Facebook page to make contact with fellow sufferers.