By Samantha Grillo @_samanthagrillo

TEENAGER Alex Visker suffers severe allergic reactions when he eats all solid FOODS

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Videographer / Director: Kim Raff
Producer: Samantha Grillo, Nick Johnson
Editor: Sonia Estal, Ian Phillips

Alex Visker posing with mom Jodie Visker and dad Kevin Visker in their Lehi, Utah home

One bite can cause him to experience extreme headaches, bone and muscles aches, stomach convulsions, brain fog and anaphylaxis. 

He is also allergic to environmental elements such as perfumes, paints, car filters, freshly cut grass, latex and car fumes. 

He stopped eating solid foods in 2013, and has been using a feeding tube ever since.

The teenager takes a series of medications to prevent daily reactions

At one point Alex, 6ft 2in, weighed only 155lbs. 

The 19-year-old has gone to dozens of doctors and specialists who have been unable to pinpoint his illness - leaving him undiagnosed today. 

Alex, from Lehi, Utah, said: “I got to a point where I was just basically starving myself to death because food made me hurt and feel so sick.

Alex hasn't eaten solid foods since 2013, when he started using a feeding tube
Despite seeing multiple doctors and specialists, Alex remains undiagnosed

“If I inhale certain perfumes I get what’s called brain fog which is literally the equivalent of not sleeping for like two to three days and not being able to think. 

“If I eat tomatoes I actually get a high temperature. 

“It’s changed a lot of things for me - I’ve had to rethink how I do a lot of things to make it work for me.”

Twice a month Alex receives an injection called Xolair, which is a mast cell stabilser

Alex has been experiencing health problems his whole life - starting with a common peanut allergy. 

Alex’s mother, Jodie Visker, 45, said: “From the time he was really young he had a lot of symptoms. He had really bad headaches, so bad we had an MRI done when he was five. 

“He’s had such a wide variety of symptoms it’s one of the reasons why it was so difficult to pinpoint what was happening to him.

Alex poses with his brothers (L-R) Christian, Jamie and Brady

“It’s heartbreaking. It’s been so hard to watch - as a parent you want to fix it, you want to take it away and find answers. 

“We have had many doctors who didn’t have a clue what it was - they would throw up their hands and say ‘we don’t know how to help you.’

“People don’t believe you, teachers, doctors, neighbors people just think you’re crazy or making it up."

Alex has three brothers, Brady, Christian and Jamie who have grown up watching Alex suffer this debilitating illness.

Brady Visker, 21, said: “I think the biggest memory of Alex was just complaining that he had a headache or being in bed all the time.

Alex has had to re-think how he lives his daily life as even environmental elements like perfumes and car fumes can cause a reaction
Alex lives on a protein-free formula called Elecare Jr

“I thought he was complaining to get out of doing stuff. It makes me feel kind of guilty as I look back.

“My mom came to me one day and made a comment that he was literally starving himself to death, he was literally dying, that just hit me that this was a serious problem.”

Most recently, under the care of Dr Gleich, Alex has received some relief after being prescribed Xolair, a mast cell stabiliser injection he gets twice a month. 

Alex said: “It overall makes me feel better - it’s mainly used to treat asthma but with my allergies it seems to hep a lot.

He takes a series of medications throughout the day to prevent reactions

“It helps me get out of bed and not go down into anaphylaxis.” 

Because eating foods makes him severely ill, he gets his nutrients from a protein-free formula through a feeding tube that he utilises every day around meal times. 

Alex said: “I sit down at the diner table with my family and I have my tube out and I put food in and join in conversations. 

“I’ve never wanted my family to feel bad about me not being able to eat food."

The illness has caused Alex to miss more than 300 days of school in two years.

Alex has been suffering extreme allergies since he was a child
Alex had to quit activities he loved like playing the saxophone because he was allergic to the reeds

He also had to quit playing the saxophone and clarinet because he was allergic to the reeds. 

However, Alex managed to graduate high school with high grades and plans to further his education from home. 

Alex said: “When things are taken from you you realise how blessed you are to be able to do certain things. 

“I am grateful that I have what I have and it’s a whole new perspective.

“My hope is that I can do computer programming, get a job from home, and one day start a family."

It cost Alex’s family $7,000 (£4,500) every month for Alex’s medications and formulas. 

Donations for Alex’s medical costs can be made at http://www.gofundme.com/alexvisker