She suffers from Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, a rare disorder of the immune system, which means she is allergic to almost everything, including her husband’s scent.
Johanna and Scott Watkins’s date nights are very different from other couple’s.
“Scott and I will try to watch a show together. We can’t be in the room together, because I’m allergic to him, but he will be three floors below me in a room on his laptop and I will be on mine and we’ll watch the show at the same time and then text about it as we’re watching it,” says Johanna.
Johanna lives in an attic room all by herself with sealed windows and doors, and air filters to purify the air. She has a severe form of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) in which the cells that are meant to protect her from outside threats mutate and start attacking her body instead.
The symptoms and severity of the disease can vary from patient to patient, but it makes Johanna allergic to virtually everything and can trigger life-threatening anaphylactic shock.