Grass allergy boy gets out to play

James can play in the garden again.
James can play in the garden again.

A seven-year-old boy from Bellshill who is allergic to grass can go out to play this summer after his garden got a makeover.

Catherine Smith was shocked when her son James’s face became swollen and painful after just a short time outside.

Doctors found he had a rare allergy and Catherine was advised he should be kept indoors to avoid any problems.

Catherine, of Viewfield Road, was at her wits’ end wondering how James, who also has autism, would be able to occupy himself over the summer months.

But after MSP Richard Lyle heard of the little boy’s sad plight he alerted contractor Mears and now the grass in the family’s back garden has been replaced with tree bark.

What’s more, community fundraiser Ray Mitchell presented James with outdoor toys worth hundreds of pounds, so he’ll be able to make the most of his freedom.

Catherine said James is a hay fever sufferer, but it was only last year that he took such a severe reaction to grass.

She said: “He looked as if he had been in a fight. His face was swollen, the pain made him scream and he couldn’t see because of film across his eyes.

“At hospital doctors advised me to keep him indoors with the windows closed, but James’s autism means he’s hyper.

“It would have been impossible for me to keep him in.”

Catherine added: “I’m overwhelmed by what everyone’s done.”

More on this story in the Bellshill Speaker, on sale now.