Woman nearly burned alive by rare skin disease triggered by tumour she named Norman

Woman burned alive by rare skin disease triggered by tumour she named Norman

The disease was triggered by a tumour (Stock image)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A woman has been burned across her entire body due to a rare skin condition triggered by a tumour, which she has named Norman.

Harriet Stuckey was on a trip around the world when she fell ill in Australia and was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in Sydney, after feeling tired and suffering from mouth ulcers.  

She continued on her journey to Florida where she met her parents, according to The Metro. However, the woman then spent three days in hospital as her lips had blistered and her mouth was then filled with more ulcers.

Stuckey travelled back to the UK and explained "I was tested for everything. Even syphilis and HIV. I couldn’t believe it. I’d also started showing signs of sepsis, which is blood poisoning, so everyone was really worried."

For a while it was still not clear what was wrong, but eventually doctors discovered in September 2016 that she had a severe case of pemphigus vulgaris disease, causing her body to attack itself.

After six weeks in hospital she was allowed to leave but her condition worsened and a tumour was discovered near her ovary. Then at the beginning of this year it was then found that the tumour had twisted around an artery causing a condition known as paraneoplastic pemphigus.

This caused the ulcers which she had had in her mouth to spread across her entire body, giving the appearance that she was being burned alive.

She explained: "My mum had to brush my body with gauzes to stop the dead skin building up and causing more problems. In order to get my clothes off I had to soak everything in water to stop the fabric sticking to my skin. It was agony. My limbs became stiff."

Despite the pain she still has her humour and decided to give her tumour a name, calling it 'Norman'. The tumour has now been removed and although Stuckey doesn't have cancer, she does have Castleman’s disease, which she says acts like a cancer.

But Stuckey has also contracted pneumonia resulting in a severe obstructive lung disease. She is now ticking off items on her bucket list and raising awareness of Castleman’s disease.

She has named the residue of the Castleman’s disease 'Norman’s little brother', and doctors hope to treat it with radiotherapy.