Malibu, Calif. – Clutching a small stuffed dog, an 11-year-old Topanga Canyon girl calmly told a Malibu jury Monday that she can barely remember what it's like to see.
At age 6, Sabrina Johnson was left near-blind and suffering from a painful condition that her parents and doctors claim was caused by a rare, severe allergic reaction to Children's Motrin.
"It's hard to remember what seeing is like when you haven't been able to see for a long time," Sabrina testified during the trial of her family's lawsuit against Children's Motrin manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries, MyFox Los Angeles reported.
She and her father testified that Sabrina's eyes were so painful in any dim light that she once chose to spend several weeks inside a box at her grandparents' house near a Florida eye clinic.
"It was not a very fun Christmas," Sabrina said. "Since I was in a box, I was one of the presents."
The girl suffered chemical burns in her eyes and every orifice of her body after her parents gave her three doses of Children's Motrin in 2003, when she had come home from Topanga Elementary School with a slight fever.
The reaction sent her to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where even doctors did not know about medical links between the active ingredient in Motrin — ibuprofen — and the severe allergic reaction called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. Ibuprofen is also found in other pain relievers and cold medicines such as those manufactured by Advil and Nuprin.
In its lawsuit, the family contends that Johnson & Johnson should have warned consumers about the possibility of a rare allergic reaction such as the one suffered by Sabrina.