When Sienna Duffield was just two years old, she began to develop ulcers inside her mouth. They rapidly spread until they overtook her entire face, making it look as if someone had thrown acid on her. It took her parents over a year to figure out what was ailing their daughter.
On Sienna Duffield’s second birthday, ulcers began to develop in her mouth. “It came out of nowhere,” her mother, Savina French-Bell said.
One day, Sienna’s face was perfectly clear. The nest day, ulcers developed, and as time passed, the condition only got worse.
Painful blisters erupted across her face. They itched and caused Sienna’s face to even bleed. “It started to look like someone had thrown acid over her face, it spread from her mouth to her cheeks, and above her eyes,” French-Bell recalled.
“She stopped eating and every day for eight months was horrific, there was always blood on her clothes and I was scared to take her outside. Every day her skin would be stuck to pillows and there would always be blood everywhere.”
Sienna’s parents, of course, took their daughter to the hospital to get checked, but none of the diagnoses or prescriptions were effective. Every doctor who saw Sienna thought she just had a bad case of eczema and believed the blisters on her face were an anomaly.
Another eight months passed. French-Bell decided that she’d had enough. She took her daughter to a private hospital and demanded that they run tests until they discovered what was ailing Sienna.
After several inconclusive allergy tests, doctors finally discovered that Sienna had contracted herpes – more than likely from a well-intentioned family member who kissed her in the past year.
Sienna finally went home that day with a correct diagnosis – and medication to treat her disease.
After several months, Sienna’s face has cleared up and her infection has not returned.
“There is always a chance of it coming back but fingers crossed it won’t happen and her skin will stay as good as it is now,” French-Bell said. “I was told that the older she gets the better her body will be at fighting off infections.
The best part for the family? Being able “to go outside and not get any horrible comments from anyone.”
French-Bell admitted, “Whereas before people were nasty to Sienna, now everyone is overwhelmed at how her face has healed, and that’s amazing to see.”