A couple who posted a public appeal on the internet seeking help for their sick daughter have found themselves being investigated for child abuse.
Mum Danielle Reid, 27, was stunned when she received a call on Friday afternoon from social services telling her she was being investigated.
This came just two weeks after she set up a Go Fund Me page asking for donations so she can pay a private specialist to help diagnose her daughter Tamzyn Seeley.
Tamzyn, 20 months, suffers from a rare and so far undiagnosed condition.
She has numerous allergies and is violently sick, bringing up harmful stomach acid, whenever she eats virtually any food.
Her neck, feet, hands, and face also swell up double their normal size during a reaction.
The stomach acid causes extreme heartburn and makes Tamzyn’s daily life a struggle, according to her mum.
Doctors have tried to combat this but it backfired in June 2015 when she reacted so violently after taking medication that her skin went bright red and it burnt her insides.
This has led doctors to a dead end and Tamzyn’s family feel they have given up trying to find out what is wrong with her.
Feeling failed by the NHS Danielle launched the appeal but she was shocked to learn several people who saw it had contacted social services to voice concerns over Tamzyn’s welfare.
Danielle, who lives with her partner Ben Seeley, 23, in Colchester, Essex, said: “It was really upsetting. I know I haven’t done anything wrong. My other half hasn’t done anything wrong, we are genuine people.
“When I received the call it was shocking and overwhelming, I was disappointed.
“I think it was people who read her story and thought or assumed she was in harm but it couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Danielle, a former pre-school teaching assistant, understands that social services have got a job to do but says it is clear that her daughter is not being abused.
“I would never do anything to harm my daughter,” said the mother-of-one. “I’m here to protect her and I’m doing everything I can do find out what she suffers from.”
Danielle first noticed something was wrong with Tamzyn soon after her birth when she would not feed, was always lethargic and felt limp “like a floppy ragdoll”.
Tamzyn would vomit undigested food just hours after eating and, despite her mum’s best efforts to cut food into the smallest pieces, she still does now.
Free-from food ranges bring her out in painful-looking rashes and her body rejects the overwhelming majority of foods.
Things got so bad that Tamzyn once went one month without eating after refusing all food because it made her so ill, her mother revealed.
Daniel said that despite offering different foods throughout the day, “Tamzyn was pushing it away and only tolerating sips of water and oat milk”.
Since her birth Tamzyn has been cared for by specialists at Colchester General Hospital, in Essex, and Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
Danielle feels that the doctors at these hospitals have ignored her pleas for help and are not taking her daughter’s condition seriously.
She said: “It’s heartbreaking for me. At seven months she had such bad acid reflux her whole body looked sunburnt and the acid was coming out of her head, mouth and skin.
“The smell was so bad and it burnt her insides.
“Tamzyn should have had endoscopies and biopsies done already at Addenbrooke’s, but last week her dad and I were told they’re not exploring her stomach because they won’t know what to look for.
“Her specialist is refusing to do any more allergy tests and we’d have to wait another six months to have them done at another hospital.”
They have contacted consultants in America for advice and to get a diagnosis.
Tamzyn, who has been admitted to hospital more than 12 times, also has to wait until February for her next review.
Danielle said: “I’m scared for Tamzyn.
“The doctors don’t understand she’s aware it’s her stomach causing the pain – she even does this thing called ‘posturing’ where she pushes her lower abdominals down onto the side of the settee and dangles from it to relieve herself.
“She also does it over her dad’s head and when we bring her down because of the neck pain it gives him. She’s distraught.
“But even though Tamzyn is so ill, she just smiles and gets on with it, but we’re struggling.”
To donate visit www.gofundme.com/2m71lzg?ssid=735894047&pos=1.