Mrs Jennifer Worth, who died on May 31 aged 75, joined Action Against Allergy in 1995 and agreed to become a patron last year. This was some small measure of acknowledgement for the many generous ways in which she helped AAA over the years.
She is now widely admired for the trilogy of best-selling books which brought to life her amazing experiences as a midwife in the East End of London in the 1950s, beginning with Call the Midwife and followed by Shadows of the Workhouse and Farewell to the East End. They are currently the inspiration for a TV series expected to air next year.
Her writing, however, began in 1997, following her debilitating exposure to body-consuming eczema suffered in her fifties, which nearly drove her to suicide. She found little help from mainstream medicine of the day, being told by the consultant dermatologist that her condition was incurable. This led her to study and experiment with every available form of treatment on offer from both clinical and complementary health resources. Eventually she found the answer lay in understanding and controlling her food allergies which she was able to do with the help of a pioneering consultant at Hemel Hempstead Hospital, the late Dr Guy Anthony Matthews.
She described the story of her illness and how she overcame it in Eczema and Food Allergy – the Hidden Cause? first published by Merton Books in 1997, since revised and updated but still a stand-alone account which has helped many with a similar affliction. Her royalties from this book are given to AAA …