This woman has a life-threatening allergy to her husband

Johanna and Scot Watkins.
Johanna and Scot Watkins.  Photo: Go Fund Me

The only way this man can show his wife love is to never go near her.

That's the bizarre and tragic situation facing US couple Scott and Johanna Watkins.

Johanna is crippled by an extreme form of an allergy illness called Mast Cell Disease. It is progressively getting worse and now there are more than 100 things that can trigger a dangerous anaphylatic reaction that could kill her. This includes chemicals, foods, smells, and sadly all people, except her siblings.

They are now her main carers and look after her in a sealed-off, air-filtered room where she always stays, unless she has to go to hospital after an attack. But even the the siblings can only care for her after not eating spicy food, showering with special soap, and only wearing clothes that never leave her room.

The couple married in 2013. Both are teachers and Scott still works as a teacher.

She always suffered from health problems such as migraines, rashes and irritable bowel syndrome, but things quickly escalated. In 2015 she was diagnosed as having Cell Mast Disease and doctors have been unable to slow the progression, including using chemotherapy.

The couple have gone public with the problem through a GoFundMe page to raise money to create a safe allergy free space for Johanna in their home. They have raised over US$125,000 in six months, exceeding their goal of $118,000. At the moment they live in a friend's house while their home is being turned into two apartments - one for her and one for Scott and her caregivers.

She can only eat 15 different foods now, including spices. She eats either beef stew with organic celery, carrot and parsnip, or organic lamb with turmeric, cinnamon and cucumber.


It was last year when the couple realised they could no longer be together physically. Johanna started feeling worse when Scott came in the room. One day he returned after getting a haircut and her anaphylactic symptoms started so he had to leave, Johanna told the BBC. That was the beginning of the end of them seeing each other in person.

Scott told People that it had been painful to no longer see his wife but "when you can't see the person you love you have to do things more intentionally. Through this, my love for my wife has grown."

They only contact each other through technology from different rooms.

Johanna told People she keeps busy by making phone calls, writing emails, reading psalms and praying for the people in her life.

The couple are determined to keep their wedding vows and plan to stay together.