Dreaming of an itch-free Christmas for 13-month-old Vann
VANN Breingan is living a nightmare.
While most families are dreaming of waking up on Christmas morning and unwrapping presents, all the Breingan family want for Christmas is a cure for 13-month-old Vann's severe eczema.
For the past 11 months, Katie and Jason Breingan have spent their days and sleepless nights soothing Vann's sore skin.
But the couple have almost reached breaking point.
Vann was admitted to Rockhampton Hospital for the umpteenth time on Monday and his parents were told yesterday he could face re-admission again after the weekend.
Katie and Jason said they didn't know what to do anymore.
"He's had it since four months old," Katie said. "We've seen various doctors, paediatricians, dermatologists, naturopaths, an allergist and have been in and out of hospital.
"We're heading back to hospital on Monday for possible readmission. It's just constant.
With no access to the facilities Vann needs in Gladstone, the Breingan have been constantly living out of suitcases to see specialists in Rocky and around the country.
"It's hard to just pop up here to be re-admitted, especially with a three-year-old about to start kindy, so we don't know whether to move back up here or not because we are from Yeppoon originally," Katie said.
"It's so tiring, emotionally and financially, and I haven't slept since he was born.
"It's a daily struggle. People think it's just itchy skin but it's so much more than that."
From dairy to strawberry jam, Vann's eczema reacts and with his hands in mittens, he turns to scratching his face on household objects.
"He has started rubbing his face on the carpet and screen doors for relief," she said.
"He is happy 90% of the time but today he made his face pour out with blood and his older brother Hunta was the one crying and asking what was going on."
The Breingan family hoped to have Vann treated at the Avene Hydrotherapy Centre in France but reaching their fundraising goal is a long way off yet.
You can follow little Vann's story on the Ban Eczema for Vann: raising awareness for Allergies & Eczema Facebook page.
If you would like to pass on any information to the Breingan family, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.