Health | Women's health | Science

Meet The Woman Who's Allergic To Everything - Including Her Husband

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Johanna Watkins

When Johanna Watkins first met her husband Scott, the two grade school teachers from Minnesota felt a connection right away.

The couple tied the knot after dating for just two years, but didn't get the happy ending they had hoped for. In fact, four years later, Scott and Johanna can barely see each other, and haven't kissed each other in over a year.

Scott and Johanna on their wedding day.Johanna Watkins

But the couple haven't fallen out of love. The only thing keeping them apart is Johanna's rare medical condition - mast cell activation syndrome - which makes her allergic to almost everything.

When Scott first met Johanna she was already sensitive to certain foods, like gluten and dairy products. Over time, she started reacting severely to hundreds of things, from foods and fabrics to scents.

Johanna Watkins

“Our life constantly feels like a crisis," Scott says about his bride's condition. "Johanna's immune system is just totally misfiring. It’s, at this point, irreversibly broken. She’s at the whims of her body. This is a killer disease and her form of it is insane.”

The young woman has been hospitalized multiple times for her allergy symptoms, which are comparable to the kind of severe reaction caused by a peanut allergy.

“Most people, when their throat starts to close in, they go to the emergency room," Scott explains.

"But Johanna’s throat is always tight, her body always hurts — that’s just her normal everyday life because these cells are identifying everything as a threat.”

And the worst part about Johanna's condition is that even Scott can trigger an allergic reaction, which has forced the couple to get creative in order to live together.

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