THE sound of your child crying and screaming in pain is every parent's worst nightmare, but for Rockhampton's Troy Kunst and Rachel Hardie it's a daily reality.
Seeing their four-year-old son Lincoln in excruciating pain is heartbreaking for Troy and Rachel, and they are desperate for options to help him.
Suffering from severe eczema, Lincoln is covered head-to-toe in itchy sores and struggles with day-to-day activities such as bathing, walking, going to the toilet and playing like a normal four-year-old. Having a bath is Lincoln's biggest fear and he let's his parents know it.
Just yesterday Troy said it took two people to un-latch him from the stairway railing after he wrapped himself around it in a desperate attempt to avoid bathing and further irritating his skin, and it just gets worse.
"When he's in the shower he screams for help, for someone to help him," Troy said.
"It's heartbreaking to see him like that and it's really hard for us."
"He isn't even toilet trained yet because as soon as he tries to go to the toilet, his skin is exposed and it just flares up, so he's still in nappies."
After the ordeal of bathing, Lincoln then has to go through having ointments and creams applied to his entire body to try and soothe his pain, followed by bandages, and then finally clothes that won't allow him to scratch his raw skin and make the condition worse. "We go through a 10 metre roll of tubular bandages in about two weeks, if we don't keep his skin covered he just tears himself apart," Troy said.
Along with swollen hands and feet, calluses on his fingertips from scratching, asthma and glands swollen to the size of marbles due to the disease and allergies to certain foods, Troy said Lincoln hasn't slept a full night in almost four years.
"Before he goes to sleep at night he'll try to scratch himself for about five hours and once he is asleep, he'll wake up at least two to three times a night," Troy said.
"We've been to every doctor and specialist in Central Queensland and are travelling back and forth from Brisbane every two months to see a specialist down there but we just want to find something that will let him live a normal life because he deserves a break.
"He's the toughest little fella I know, but it's time to start asking for help."
If you think you could help the Kunst family or would like to share your experiences with them, email email@example.com
Eczema affects 1 in 8 babies and young children
Eczema can be a result of genetics and is passed on from parents to their children
Eczema often also comes with allergies such as asthma or hay fever, or even a food allergy.
The chance of your child developing eczema is doubled just by having one parent who is affected.
Estimated Length Of Eczema For Those Developing It By The Age Of 1:
50% will stop having problems by the age of 5
25% will still be having problems by the age of 9
12% will still be having problems by the age of 13
6% will still be having problems by the age of 17
3% will still be having problems by the age of 21