Three stories about Stevens Johnson Syndrome that have been in the news recently highlight how varied recovery to SJS can be. One such story is that of Emilie Nickoloff, who was diagnosed with Stevens Johnson Syndrome four years ago. According to ABC 7 NEWS (06/16/11), Nickoloff had a fever of 104 and a rash on her arms and torso. Nickoloff lost her sight, but an amniotic membrane transplant saved her vision. She had burns all over her body and wound up in a coma.
To this day, Nickoloff does not know what medication caused her severe reaction. Now, four years later, Nickoloff has made a full recovery and is competing in an Ironman triathlon to raise awareness about SJS.
Meanwhile, the story of Brianna Maya, who was three years old when she developed Stevens Johnson Syndrome, shows that some people can live through their ordeal but still suffer lifelong injury. Maya, who is now 13 years old, was recently awarded $10 million in her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer Products division after alleging that use of Children's Motrin caused her health problems.
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Not everyone survives their Stevens Johnson Syndrome ordeal; and not everyone even knows they have been given a medicine that could harm them. The Altoona Mirror (06/06/11) shares the story of Matt Noel, who died in 1993 from sepsis and respiratory failure related to an allergic reaction to sulfa. Noel was given the sulfa medication after a liver transplant. After developing an allergic reaction to Bactrim, the initial sulfa drug, Noel was then given a second sulfa drug. He died a week after being admitted to the hospital.