Advertising

This is Johanna Watkins and her husband, Scott.

She's wearing a mask, but not because he smells bad.
She's wearing a mask, but not because he smells bad.

Johanna, 29, suffers from a severe form of a rare auto-immune disease called Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, which means her body has a life-threatening allergic reaction to almost everything and everyone. Including her husband.

The couple live with family in Minnesota. Johanna, a former teacher, lives in the attic with sealed windows and doors, and breathes air purified by a filter. Doctors have tried all kinds of medical treatment, but none so far have helped.

Advertising

This is what a date with her husband is like, she tells the BBC:

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.

Scott and Johanna met before she was diagnosed, and married in 2013. Not long after their marriage, her conditioned worsened. She started having a severe allergic reaction to people, including her parents. Then within the past couple of years, she started "reacting" to Scott, too.

Advertising

Heartbreaking. But throughout her illness, Scott has remained a devoted husband, working as a teacher to support them and cooking for her every night. The family also set up a GoFundMe to help cover hospital costs.

He told the BBC:

There's not an easy way around this problem. I want to keep Johanna safe and me going to see her compromises her safety. One of the ways I can take care of her now is by not going to see her. I'm not going to endanger her life. We're absolutely committed to one another and we're going to wait as long as it takes to see if there is some kind of healing.

Advertising

He's a keeper.

Johanna agrees.

"On our wedding day we made vows to each other that till death do us part. No matter what life brought," she said. "I can tell you that even if I have this until I'm 90 years old, I would be committed to my husband with that vow and still love him."

Advertising

#RelationshipGoals

Sources: BBC | GoFundMe