Balloons are a common sight at children’s birthdays, weddings, restaurants and shops. But Liz Knight has spent most of her life avoiding them because coming into contact with one could kill her.

As a child, Liz was allergic to dust, animal hair and feathers. By the age of 12, doctors found she was also allergic to human hair. Her long blonde ponytail was duly cut off into a short, cropped style that wouldn’t cause any irritation.

It didn’t stop there – the extent of her allergies only grew and some of her earliest memories involve being isolated because of them.

“We went to visit a relative when I was four; I think it was an aunt or a great-aunt of mine. She had a budgie – everyone

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