Hi, my name is Taylor. I am ten years old. I used to go to school at Tasha Elementary in Trumbull. My body started reacting to my sick school when I was in kindergarten. I had red circles around my eyes and my skin was breaking out. I was very itchy. My mom took me to the doctor and then to the dermatologist.
They started giving me medication so I could go to school. When I got out of school in June, my skin cleared and I was off all my medications. I went to first grade feeling great but just then a few days after being in school my skin broke out.
This time it was worse. It was infected. I think because I was in school fulltime. We went back to the doctor’s and I started my medications again, only this time we needed stronger dosages. My mom took me for another opinion which meant more drugs. Drugs to go to school with and drugs to go to sleep with. I wasn’t able to keep up with my work, so I didn’t get candy at the end of the day from my teacher. I remember telling my friend I couldn’t go to her swimming party because the other kids would make fun of me.
Summer came and I was okay again. My mom and dad couldn’t believe how my skin cleared except for the scars that are left from me digging into my skin and I had no more sinus infections. Second grade started and I had the best teacher but once again, I started reacting. I went back to the doctors, more and more drugs just to stay in school. I was always tired and the itching was getting worse. Now, I would bleed through my clothes and my clothes would stick to me. It got so bad one day, my mom put me in the shower with my underwear on so we could soak them off my skin.
Taylor’s School Tragedy
My reading teacher yelled at me for not sitting still, but I couldn’t. I had big open sores on my bottom that were infected. Winter vacation came and my skin started clearing. That’s when my parents put it all together. It must be something in the school that’s making me sick, but what? My grades were getting worse and they put me in special reading and math. It didn’t help. I just couldn’t remember what was being taught. I couldn’t wait to get out of school. Third grade was the worst of all.
My mom took me to Yale New Haven Hospital. They did some tests on my skin and gave me different medications. These were supposed to work. They were very strong because the doctors couldn’t clear the skin infections which turned into staph infections. I was getting more sinus infections and my eyes were always red and puffy. I started wearing big clothes so the kids couldn’t see my skin. They were always making fun of me and telling me my skin was ugly.
The doctors tried everything, even the wet pajama treatment which meant my mom would put my medicine on then soak my pajamas in warm water and then put them on me for the night. They even tried wrapping my body in plastic wrap so the medicine would soak in faster. Nothing worked.
The doctors at Yale set me for allergy testing. The testing showed I was very allergic to mold. The doctors at Yale decided to remove me from school for three weeks to see if the infections would clear. It did.
I stayed out of school for the rest of the year. I was home-schooled for rest of third grade and all of fourth. My friends would tell me the kids at school were calling me, mold girl. I hated being home. I lost all my friends and the year and a half of school. I am in a safe school now and I’m here to beg the lawmakers to make all schools safe for all children so they don’t have to go through what I already went through. Thank you for listening to my tragic story.