Lancaster seven-year-old battles rare skin condition

Rhys Brocklebank from Lancaster who suffers from EB.
Rhys Brocklebank from Lancaster who suffers from EB.

A Lancaster mum has spoken of her “brave” little boy who battles every day with a rare skin condition.

Little Rhys Brocklebank is all smiles despite the fact that he has Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) which causes the skin to blister and tear at the slightest touch.

He is a very popular boy at school and does just get on with things

Michaela Leeming

The seven-year-old has been battling with the genetic condition since he was born and is limited to physical activities.

Despite this mum Michaela Leeming insists her little boy still leads a normal life along with his five other siblings.

Michaela, who lives on Ryelands Road, said: “He is a very popular boy at school and does just get on with things, sometimes the blisters get him down.

“I have got used to it, dad gets a bit upset when he is in pain but it has to be done, he has to live with this unfortunately.”

The Ryelands Primary School pupil is one of an estimated 5,000 people living with EB in the UK.

His arms, fingers, elbows, feet, toes and knees have to be checked for blisters every day and rebandaged and dressed with special bandages and plasters by his mum.

Rhys often loses toenails due to the condition and although he can participate in PE at school he is banned form football unless it is with a sponge ball.

Michaela said: “It is very painful for him, he has to have regular hot baths to help with his blisters and special socks without the lining.

“At first he wouldn’t tell anyone, he was frightened people would hurt him but I speak to the teachers and they understand and check for blisters when I am not there.”

The school raised £200 for the DEBRA charity which supports individuals and families affected by EB, by holding held a Show your Seams Day, where children wore their clothes inside out. Lansil Golf Club also raised £1460 for the charity. The family would like to thank everyone for their support.

There are three types of EB, Epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS) where blistering occurs in the upper layer of skin, Dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB), where blistering occurs below the skin and Junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB), where blistering occurs between the top and bottom layer of skin.

Tony Eckersall, regional fundraiser for DEBRA, said: “Some families have been accused of burning their children, thankfully we don’t have any incidents like that.”