Ali Bastian, who played teacher Becca Dean on Hollyoaks, has opened up about the fears and challenges surrounding her two-year-old's severe allergies, recounting a particularly scary moment.
The 40-year-old soap legend described the "terrifying" moment her two-year-old daughter Isla Rose went "blue and floppy" after she had a systematic shutdown.
Bastian spoke about Isla’s severe food allergies and the constant fears and challenges that come with them in an interview with OK! magazine, in which she and husband David O’Mahony revealed they're expecting their second child.
Allergy UK stats show almost one in 12 young children in the UK suffer from a food allergy like Isla, who is allergic to dairy, eggs, nuts, peanuts and sesame.
"Allergies are life-changing and become a lesson in managing your anxiety," Bastian explained. “And anaphylaxis can look different for different people.”
“With Isla, she had a systemic shutdown and went blue and floppy. She was so tiny, it was awful."
Thankfully, Isla has now outgrown her wheat allergy, which Bastian described as a "huge win".
Now, the parents are taking Isla to a private allergy consultant, hoping to lessen her sensitivity to food allergies.
Bastian and O’Mahony welcomed their daughter back in March 2020, at the time admitting that they felt "incredibly lucky".
Since Isla was born in the middle of the UK’s first lockdown, the couple were unable to introduce their child to any of their relatives for months until restrictions lifted.
At the time, Bastian shared her family’s excitement to meet the newborn.
"We haven't had any family come to meet Isla yet - and they can't wait to meet her. It's like we've been in our own bubble, but we've been FaceTiming our family every day."
And in late 2020, Bastian spoke to Made By Mammas podcast, where she opened up about her anxiety as a new mum.
"To be honest it still feels difficult sometimes. Most of the time actually," she shared.
Bastian revealed that at one point, she didn’t leave her house for three months.
"I remember the first time, I hadn't been to any shops or anything and I went to Boots. I just felt...just really vulnerable I guess."
Bastian’s anxiety was so bad that her family became decided they needed to intervene.
"It was my little brother who was worried. I said to him, 'I genuinely can't imagine I'm ever going to let anyone hold Isla, or pass her to anybody.'”
"He was like 'we have to do something about this'."
“He gave me that loving push in the right direction to see mum properly and let her hold Isla and have some help,” Bastian shared.
"I am really, really glad we did that. We were going down a difficult road."
How common are food allergies in babies and children?
Food allergies are more common in children who come from families where other members suffer from an allergy, whilst babies who suffer from eczema are at a higher risk of having food allergies.
If you think your child might have an allergy, see a GP to get the best advice, before they experience any more severe symptoms.
You can find also find the interactive map of allergy clinics by Googling Paediatric Allergy Services Map.