The little boy who could be killed by Christmas: Severe allergies mean Theo can't enjoy a real tree or even a mince pie
Both Theo and his mother suffer from a range of extreme allergies, which make celebrating Christmas a bit of a choreThey could go into anaphylactic shock if they accidentally consumed nuts or went too near a real pine tree



11:31 GMT, 10 December 2012

For most children, December is an exciting time when they enjoy decorating the Christmas tree and tuck into festive goodies.

But for one school boy and his mother it can be somewhat of an annual nightmare.

Theo Lester, six, suffers from a range of extreme allergies, which means he can't go anywhere near a real pine tree or bite into a mince pie or Christmas pudding. A bite into one would trigger anaphylactic shock causing his airways to close.

Theo and mother Bree with a fake Christmas tree. Both could go into anaphylactic shock if exposed to real pine needles

Theo and mother Bree with a fake Christmas tree. Both could go into anaphylactic shock if exposed to real pine needles

His mother Bree, from Costessey, Norfolk, suffers from the same allergies.

The 37-year-old said: 'Everything kicks off this time of year with both of us.

'Touching a real tree is something he has never done. I would love for him to be able to experience it one day like other kids.

'Having a proper tree is such a lovely thing at Christmas, but unfortunately it is something we will never be able to do.

'I miss them. They are so much nicer than normal ones, and Theo has always wanted to have one, but we can't.'

Mrs Lester discovered she had an extreme aversion to pine needles aged ten, while decorating her parents' Christmas tree for the first time.

She came out in rashes, her eyes and nose watered heavily and she struggled to breathe as she put the tinsel and baubles up.

Over the years she developed extreme asthma and eczema, which is triggered by all manner of household items.

Mince Pies

Fully decorated christmas tree

Theo and Bree can't go near real Christmas trees and must make their own mince pies as they are allergic to nuts

When Theo was born Mrs Lester and husband Stephen, 39, had him tested for a host of allergies and discovered he had inherited his mother's problems.

He could go into anaphylactic shock if he walks into a room where someone was cracking a bowlful of nuts.

Little Theo also can't enjoy bonfire night as the smokey atmosphere makes him wheeze if he goes outside.

Mrs Lester, a housewife, added: 'I realised he was going to be exactly like me so we had him tested for lots of different things and that's when we found out about the problems he was going to have at Christmas.

'Before he goes round to a friend's house for tea I have to make sure they only have a fake tree.

'He can't eat Christmas pudding or mince pies at school or with his friends because of the nut allergy. We have to make our own.

'He always has an epipen, nebuliser and inhaler with him in case the worst happens and someone has a tree or nuts in their house but we don't want him to be treated differently to any other child.'

Mrs Lester and her son dose themselves up on anti-allergy tablets and make sure the heating is off as warmth makes their allergic reactions worse.

Little Theo understands why he can't have a real tree at home but still hopes one day he will overcome his allergies and be able to have one.

He said: 'I would like a real tree but they make me feel poorly. They make me wheezy, sneezy and itchy.'

Father Steve, said: 'Christmas is what you make of it and we always have a special day.

'We make a real event of decorating the (fake) tree and Theo gets plenty of presents. We make sure every December 25 is a happy one.'