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Corrinne’s story: Living with a peanut allergy

Corrinne peanut allergy
07 December 2021

Say hello to Corrinne, who’s popped into see our Research team as part of her peanut immunotherapy trial – not every patient makes our team jewellery while they’re waiting!

Six year old Corrinne is well known to both the Allergy and Research team, because she first came to Sheffield Children’s at 13 months old after suffering a bad reaction to some peanut butter on toast.

Her mum Beth said: “Her face swelled up and hives broke out across it. Corrinne was itching, wheezing and had a hoarse throat.”

Corrinne’s diagnosis at Sheffield Children’s

Corrinne peanut allergyAt Sheffield Children’s, Corrinne was diagnosed with a peanut allergy through a test known as a skin prick. The is one of the most common allergy tests, which involves putting a drop of liquid onto your forearm that contains a substance you might be allergic to. The skin under the drop is then gently pricked.

If you’re allergic to the substance, an itchy, red bump will appear within 15 minutes. This isn’t particularly painful, and it is a very safe method, but it can be a little uncomfortable.

Following her diagnosis, Corrinne started making annual appointments to see our team, but unfortunately her tolerance to peanuts was decreasing consistently as she got older.

Beth said: “Corrinne was always a very smiley girl – but I used to worry about her going abroad or being away from me and accidentally eating something with peanuts. While she was small I could control what she ate a lot more.

“When Corrinne was three, the Allergy team mentioned a research trial and said she could take part. The cut off age for the study was four years old – and she just made it in.”

Beginning the research trial

Corrinne started the trial shortly before her fourth birthday and has now been involved in the immunotherapy treatment for around 25 months.

Beth said: “It’s been incredibly successful for her, with results I had not dreamed of. Prior to the trial Corrinne’s tolerance to peanuts had decreased at each review, dictated by her reaction area with the skin prick testing. After a year on the trial, her tolerance had improved to such a degree that I actually believed she has consumed the placebo and not actual peanut, when she was tested.”

The trial began with two challenge days – one using a placebo and one using the peanut – to help measure each participant’s tolerance and confirm Corrinne had a peanut allergy.

Beth added: “We had a year on the trial where Corrinne was receiving the immunotherapy or placebo, but we’re now in the follow up where she is on the immunotherapy patches for sure.

“COVID had delayed the process of the trial but Corrinne has been coming in continually for her appointments and also had phone call contacts with the team to check up in between our visits.”

Working with the team at Sheffield Children’s

Corrinne peanut allergyOver the course of her treatment, Corrinne and Beth have created a strong bond with the Research and Allergy teams – and especially with Clinical Research Nurse, Paula.

“Everyone has been absolutely lovely with Corrinne and me. They’ve been incredibly supportive and kind and they are all clearly very passionate about their work. She loves coming here – even if she’s having her bloods done!

“Corrinne has engaged so readily and this is down to the lovely attitude of the Research team. I feel like I no longer have to worry to such a degree about Corrinne’s allergy as she ages and this brings me so much comfort as a parent.”

Paula added: “It’s great to hear Corrinne and Beth have enjoyed taking part in research and we look forward to seeing the result of the trial in due course and if the treatment is shown to be effective, hopefully it will be available to others in the future.”

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