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Mum Claims £30 River Island Shoes Landed Her In Hospital

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Mum Claims £30 River Island Shoes Landed Her In Hospital

**Warning - graphic pictures below**

A mum ended up in hospital after she claimed a pair of River Island sandals were the cause of a horrific allergic reaction.

Donna Roberts, 43, bought the pair of gold strappy heels for a pal’s party in October last year.

Having bought the sandals from the River Island store in Surrey Quays, south-east London, the Peckham native noticed her feet broke out in painful blisters just three days after wearing them.

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"I wore them to this party and everything was fine at first,” Donna explained.

Donna had bought the shoes for a friend's party (Credit: Kennedy News Media)
Donna had bought the shoes for a friend's party (Credit: Kennedy News Media)

"But then the middle of the next week I started to get itchy around my ankles and then gradually a red ring came around each ankle.

"It felt like tingling at first, like pins and needles, then my toes started itching and gradually blistering came out.

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"The following weekend I went to A&E because the blistering had got so bad and it was really hurting to put shoes on and they said it was a really bad allergic reaction.

A number of painful blisters and welts erupted on her skin (Credit: Kennedy News Media)
A number of painful blisters and welts erupted on her skin (Credit: Kennedy News Media)

Initially blaming a pair of socks at first, Donna then claimed the sandals broke her out in rashes and painful welts hours after she wore them again on Christmas Day.

“I had them on for about two hours and I started itching and gradually the rash came up on my ankles again - you can see they're a perfect ring of where the straps were across my toes and ankles,” she said.

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"That's when I realised it was the sandals because it was immediate this time and then it just kept progressing. I'm certain it was the shoes.

"Boxing Day I spent at the hospital and my birthday is the 28th [December] so I still had all blistering then and that spoiled my birthday as well."

Painful boils and welts erupted (Credit: Kennedy News Media)
Painful boils and welts erupted (Credit: Kennedy News Media)

And unfortunately for Donna, the process of healing the stubborn blisters wasn’t so straightforward.

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After being prescribed oral steroids at Queen Mary's Hospital A&E in Sidcup, where doctors confirmed she was suffering from a severe allergic reaction, Donna then suffered a further reaction to her medication – resulting in rashes across her body.

After contacting River Island's customer service team in January, a team member apologised and asked her to send the shoes to their safety department to be tested.

“I was a bit reluctant to send the shoes back because I wanted to know what was in them and they couldn't tell me that - it just says 'other' for the materials on the shoe,” Donna says.

The shoes were £30 from River Island (Credit: Kennedy News Media)
The shoes were £30 from River Island (Credit: Kennedy News Media)
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"I said 'I'll send one back because if you can't give me answers then I want to get it tested myself'.

"I sent it back and heard nothing for about two weeks so I got in touch again and had to chase them up again after that - they've been really bad at getting back to me.

"They said their distribution centre said they hadn't received it. I looked at my tracking and sent them my proof of postage, which said it had been delivered to them.

"I'm still asking them now 'have you got the shoe, did you find it?' and they just don't answer.”

Donna continued: "It's just a bit of a joke. I haven't even had a refund for the cost of the shoes and they're just trying to fob me off really now I think.

"I just want to know what's in them - I need to know because I obviously don't want to put something that contains that on my skin again."

Although healed, Donna has been left with painful welts on her skin (Credit: Kennedy News Media)
Although healed, Donna has been left with painful welts on her skin (Credit: Kennedy News Media)

After being left with marks on her feet from the excruciating reactions, the mum-of-two has shared photos of her blistered feet to warn other shoppers.

“I shop at River Island quite often and my daughters, that's the scary thing but this has definitely put me off the shoes there,” Donna said.

"I'm probably a one off but still surely that shouldn't happen to anyone and if it can cause a reaction like that then there should be a warning or something.

"Now with food allergies everything has to be listed so why is it different with materials? They don't even seem to know what's in them themselves."

A River Island spokesman said: "The health and well-being of our customers is paramount. The matter in question has been thoroughly investigated internally and we can confirm that this product meets all necessary compliance standards."

Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News Media

Topics: Style, Shopping, Fashion, News, Real Life, Health

Kimberley Bond
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