In this case, according to the BBC (10/31/12), Nurofen for Children. Calvin had the flu—a common malady, and equally common is to take over-the-counter medication to combat the effects. And while the emergence of SJS as an allergic reaction to ibuprofen is rare, it happens nonetheless.
It happened to Calvin Lock.
As recounted by the BBC, five days after taking Nurofen on September 21 for his flu-like symptoms, the 11-year-old awoke to a burning ear and rashes on his face and stomach. SJS often starts with the appearance of Stevens Johnson Syndrome rash. Doctors initially thought it was chickenpox.
However, as his condition worsened and he was moved to a different hospital in the UK, doctors there recognized Stevens Johnson Syndrome symptoms and began treating him for the rare skin condition in earnest.
It was touch and go for several weeks, according to the BBC. The boy's condition quickly went downhill and he was moved into the ICU, where he remained on life support for a period of three days.
From there, the young Stevens Johnson Syndrome skin disease patient was transferred to the burn unit at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex. It was there that doctors discovered things were turning from bad, to worse for the young patient. Lock was diagnosed with Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Syndrome (TENS), which is an even more rare, and more severe form of SJS.
In total, the boy lost 65 percent of his skin and all of his hair. "It looked like someone had beaten me up and threw me through a window," the young patient told the BBC, "because all my face was cut and scarred."
Robyn Moult feared she was going to lose her son. She was told her son had little chance for survival.
"It is like watching a horror movie. Watching when his skin started coming away, it was like a nightmare," she said.
There is a happy ending in this SJS story. After losing more than half of his skin to the violent condition, Calvin made what most described as a miraculous recovery. And Calvin is thankful, telling the BBC, "I'm happy that I'm here with my family and I'm happy still to be alive."
The family plans to start a charity in their son's name, in an effort to raise awareness about Stevens Johnson Syndrome and the risks of taking ibuprofen.
Robyn Moult will not soon forget the experience of watching her son shed his skin like a snake.
READ MORE STEVENS JOHNSON SYNDROME (SJS) LEGAL NEWS
It is not known if the family has any designs on contacting Stevens Johnson Syndrome lawyers and litigating against the manufacturer of the medication that triggered the condition. In a statement to the BBC, Dr Aomesh Bhatt, UK medical director at Nurofen for Children, said: "We are saddened to hear about this case and are contacting the family to ensure we ascertain the full details of this case as part of our normal reporting procedures for medicines."