Jokiva started to notice blisters forming across her cheeks and necks when she was 18 – but her doctors were unsure why. When things worsened causing her to struggle to eat, drink and sleep, she consulted her doctors again who made her undergo medical tests to determine what was wrong
She was told she was suffering from lupus – a genetic condition which can trigger rashes following exposure to the sun. It means that if she ever wants to leave the house then she must cover up or wear sun cream to prevent an outbreak.
Jokiva said: ‘I was originally misdiagnosed with eczema after I started developing rashes at 18.
‘But the flare ups started to become more regular, my face was so red and covered in angry blisters that I didn’t feel confident enough to go outside.
‘A few months later I had to go to hospital due to kidney failure, then I was informed that I had lupus and things just went downhill from there.
I struggled to eat, drink, walk, and even sleep. My bed would be covered in sweat every morning and my skin became so red and blistered.’
It has not been an easy experience for her. She now takes 21 pills each day to prevent an outbreak and her husband, has taken on the role of her carer.
She added: ‘I have been resting and looking after myself loads in the past year as I’m desperate to have a baby with my husband.
‘He’s been so good to me and there hasn’t been any strain on our relationship at all.
‘Even though due to my illness I’ve been unable to be affectionate, he has still stuck by me and supported me all the way through