Barking MP raises awareness of SJS condition in Westminster debate

Nadia with Margaret Hodge MP

Nadia with Margaret Hodge MP - Credit: Archant

Margaret Hodge has helped raise awareness of a rare but devastating condition by leading a debate at the House of Commons.

Nadier as she began to recover from the initial phase of the disease in 1996

Nadier as she began to recover from the initial phase of the disease in 1996 - Credit: Archant

The Barking MP joined forces with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) Awareness UK, which is based in Pickering Road, Barking, to call for greater funding into the condition on Wednesday last week.

Charity founder Thermutis Nadier Lawson, who is known as Nadier, describes SJS as “a severe reaction, usually to medication but in some cases, viral infections, which affects your skin and mucous membranes”.

She said the debate was necessary because “every single person, at some point in life, will depend on medicine”.

Nadier, 38, developed SJS as a teenager in 1996 just hours after taking the antibiotic Septrin, and fell into a coma.

Although she recovered enough to emigrate from Ghana to England in 1999, SJS can cause complications years later, and in 2001 doctors found scar tissue growing over her corneas.

Today she is registered blind, but this did not stop her from founding SJS Awareness UK in 2009.

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Now the charity informs victims that SJS can have life-changing consequences.

“When a patient has made their initial recovery and come out of hospital, they might think ‘you’re doing good now,’” said Nadier, who lives in Ilford.

“But in most cases, that’s the beginning of the battle.”

Nadier advises anyone taking medication to make sure that they read the information leaflets.

Mrs Hodge said she was “really proud” to raise awareness of the condition in Parliament.

She added: “I will do all I can to continue to raise awareness of SJS and push the government to increase funding into this rare reaction.”