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'It's scary - mam and dad have virus', says 'butterfly' girl


Claudia Scanlon with Ryan Tubridy on a show last year

Claudia Scanlon with Ryan Tubridy on a show last year

Claudia Scanlon with Ryan Tubridy on a show last year

A Dublin teenager with the rare genetic condition commonly known as "butterfly syndrome" has told how the pandemic has been a "roller-coaster" as both of her parents contracted Covid-19.

Transition-year student Claudia Scanlon (16) spoke about what life has been like for her and her family as they try to weather the current crisis.

She has not seen her father Gary in two weeks as he is self-isolating in her parents' bedroom in their southside home in Terenure for the past fortnight.


Luckily, he's had mild symptoms and did not require hospital treatment but it would be far more serious if she got the virus.

Her mother Liz got Covid-19 just before her father fell ill in a hugely stressful situation.

"If I get it, it's not a good situation," she said.

"I have a very, very low immune system and I get everything and anything during flu season, so to get Covid-19 would not be good for me.

"I'm definitely not allowed go two metres outside my house. I haven't been allowed go to the hospital or anything, it has been a bit strange.

"I like being at home, I'm a homebird, but it's scary all the same."

She told The Ryan Tubridy Show how her father's two-week isolation period comes to an end today but they will still have to take precautions and maintain social distancing due to her weakened immune system.

"We'll just have to be very, very careful," she said.

"My mam was sick just before my dad, now my dad's sick.

"It's absolute madness but I'm just glad that I have at least one of them here with me to take care of me."

She has been talking to her dad on even though he is in the next room, she added.

"We have a bungalow so it's really weird, because he's just right beside me," she said.

"He's actually fine to be honest, he has very mild symptoms."

Opening up about what life is like for her, she revealed that she has found it hard in the past to make friends because of her condition, which means that her skin can tear or blister at the slightest touch.

"It hasn't always been the easiest for me," she said.

"I've lost so many friends throughout my life.

"The generation that I'm in now, people should be more accepting of people who may be a bit different but there will always be that aspect of people not wanting to be friends or socialise with someone different.

"I guess when I left primary school some people ditched me."