Ju-Alize, like many two-year-olds, loves to play in the garden and climb on chairs and play with her mommy’s hair, but until now, she was not even able to wear a T-shirt or a pair of pants.
Just two months after her first birthday, Ju-Alize’s parents noticed a small blister on her lip, but never thought anything of it. Little did they know that the blister would cause them heartache for the next eight months of their baby girl’s life.
“We just thought that it was caused by her dummy, but by the morning, she had a rash on her knee and by the next day, it had spread like a wild fire. It was in her toenails and fingernails, on her calves, arms and it even started in the white of her eyes and tear ducts,” says Liza, Ju-Alize’s mom.
The worried couple, who live in Strubenvale, spent the next few months visiting doctor after doctor, trying to find out what was happening to their angel.
“We saw 14 doctors from Springs, Pretoria and even Rustenburg. We went to two homeopaths, four dermatologists and a number of pediatricians and no-one could help us,” she says with tears in her eyes.
The Vogel family was give cortisone creams and medication and to make matters worse, they were first-time parents and frowned upon by the community.
“So many people whispered behind our backs, asking if we had burnt her. People looked at us like we were bad parents. It got so bad, that we stopped going out, I could not understand how people could criticise us, even though they didn’t know what had happened,” she says, with the toddler crawling at her feet.