A British-Nigerian beauty queen has revealed how she almost died from a rare allergic reaction to eye drops which caused her skin to fall off. Mariah Adejokun, 24, was given the medication after visiting the doctors complaining of an itchy eye but woke up the next morning with lumps all over her body. She was rushed to hospital and put in a medically-induced coma for a month, while doctors told her mum she might not even survive the ordeal. The one-in-a-million illness, known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, results in the top layer of skin dies and then sheds.Mariah's mum, Remi Adejokun, said the innocuous eye medication left her daughter in such a terrible state she "looked like Freddy Krueger" from the horror film Nightmare on Elm Street. Remi said: "I hate to say that but there were so many blisters her skin was just tearing off. I looked at her and I was so scared she was going to burst open. I saw death knocking at my daughter's door, all because of an eye drop."
It started five years ago when Mariah, from Thornton Heath, south London, complained of an itchy eye, and her GP directed her to the chemist for some eye drops. Mariah said: "Unknown to me, I had a rare, deadly allergy to eye drops and shockingly, after using it, all of my skin peeled off from head to toe." But brave Marian later recovered from the illness and went on to complete a degree in early childhood studies at the University of Roehampton.
She said: "I am so happy to be alive and share my unique story. No matter what the struggles may be, one has to believe in themselves and have a positive attitude towards life. "I see my story as a positive one. I believe this will inspire a lot of youths to be grateful for what they have. Even more so, to fulfil their purpose in life and be a blessing to someone else. My motto is 'believe in yourself and follow your dreams'."
The inspirational Mariah went on to pen two books about her life to motivate others, titled "My Life Is Not My Own" and "ReachOut2All".
She is also involved in community work with youngsters in Croydon and recently organised a graduation ceremony for school children - "because they are graduates too".Following her discharge from hospital five years ago, Marian, who once came second in Miss Teen Africa beauty pageant, said: "When I was in the intensive care unit, crying in pain, all I thought of was coming home. I've overcome a lot of in my life. Losing my skin because of an eye drop is just another obstacle I've made it through."