Julie McCabe in coma after 'hair dye allergic reaction'

Julie McCabe L'Oreal has pledged to help the inquiry into Mrs McCabe's illness

A woman from West Yorkshire has been left brain-damaged and in a coma, apparently after suffering a severe reaction while dyeing her hair.

Julie McCabe, 38, from Keighley, is on a life-support machine following the incident at her home on 30 October.

Her family believe she collapsed because of an allergic reaction to a chemical widely used in hair dyes.

Her father Keith Miller said she was struggling to breathe and was taken to Airedale General Hospital.

Mr Miller, 63, from Shipley, said: "She dyed her hair. She couldn't breathe so we'd rushed her down to the hospital and her heart stopped during that journey.

"So they revived her in hospital but the damage had been done by then."

He believes the chemical para-phenylenediamine (PPD) in her hair dye caused his daughter's condition.

'Unlikely to recover'

In 2007, an article in the British Medical Journal by St John's Institute of Dermatology in London warned PPD could trigger allergic reactions.

However there is not yet any proven link between the chemical in the dye and Mrs McCabe's illness.

Keith Miller Keith Miller has instructed a lawyer to warn of the potential dangers of PPD

Doctors believe Mrs McCabe is unlikely to recover.

Mr Miller has instructed a lawyer to highlight the dangers of the chemical.

Lawyer Greg Almond said: "We would encourage people to carry out a test absolutely every time they dye their hair and that's probably the best way to prevent it at the minute.

"But we would call on the government to take a much stronger line with this and to introduce either an outright ban on this particular chemical or to force restriction on sale."

L'Oreal 'concerned'

Mr Miller said: "Knowing my daughter she's a strong little character and if anyone can [recover] she can."

Mrs McCabe was using a L'Oreal Preferences hair dye.

Mr Miller said his daughter had dyed her hair regularly for several years and had used the L'Oreal product in the past. He believes she did a skin test before using the dye.

In a statement, the cosmetics company said: "L'Oreal was extremely concerned to hear about this serious situation.

"We do not know the details of the case so it would be inappropriate for us to comment further, however we will do everything we can to assist this lady's family and medical team with information they might need to establish what happened."

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