Mother-of-three, Tepara Koti, says she will always be grateful to the late Dr Joseph Williams, MBChB, MPH, QSO, QSM, who she visited after her daughter had a severe case of eczema and every referral for treatment before Dr Williams had proven to be ineffective.
Among his many roles within the community, Dr Williams, a politician, mentor and patron of the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA), was also known as “Dr Eczema” because of his passion and research around eczema treatment, especially among children.
Tepara turned to Dr Williams as a last resort and says his controversial but popular remedy helped cure her daughter, Talia-Jewel, from the skin ailment that affects many Māori and Pacific communities.
“I first noticed small spots or rashes forming behind her left ear when my girl was only two months old. I asked my nurse at the time about what I could do, or what could be causing it and unfortunately she couldn’t help,” says Tepara about her daughter who is now four years old.
The rash got worst, and Talia-Jewel’s skin became dry and coarse, despite Tepara’s best efforts to keep it moist.
“My GP prescribed the usual steroid creams, but they never really worked well enough. At six months old, I tried my baby on solids for the first time – starting with pumpkin puree. That was the turning point for us. Her skin had flared up so much that both sides of her mouth cracked so bad that it hurt her too much to breastfeed.”
Desperate for a solution, she remembered seeing Dr Williams on television on a news item about his eczema treatment and a book he wrote about the ailment – titled Eczema; The Neglected Disease of Children. The book recounts Dr Williams’ research into eczema, his treatment results, patient stories with before and after pictures.
Tepara sought out Dr Williams and his unique treatment that included a concoction he developed, mixing an antifungal cream and a steroid.
“I found his clinic at Mt Wellington Integrated Healthcare. In the waiting room, I was blown away by the number of people that were there because of eczema. There were many other babies and kids suffering worse than my child. I vividly remember seeing one child with eczema so bad that their scalp was covered in blood from the sores.”
Dr Williams advised Tepara to change her and her child’s diet, cutting out dairy, nuts, citrus, tomatoes, pumpkin and recommended using his cream and lotion.
“We followed his instructions and my baby’s skin had literally recovered in an unbelievable seven days.
We have only ever had to revisit the clinic twice after for more cream, but her skin has never ever been as bad as it was then. She still gets some small spots here and there, but they do not last very long.
Since our experience with Dr Joe, I referred so many other mums to his clinic over the years – I’m sure they’ve been just as appreciative as we are.”
Like all his patients, past and present, Tepara was saddened to hear that Dr Williams passed away in September. She will be paying her respects and honouring his legacy by attending his public memorial service on Thursday 29 October at the Vodafone Events Centre in Auckland.
“I will be forever grateful to Dr Williams for his help. It changed our lives.”
The public memorial service will be held this Thursday 29th October 2020 at the Vodafone Events Centre, Manukau, Auckland. The service will start at 2pm and full programme details including RSVP can be found by clicking here.
Facebook event link can be found here.
Date: Monday 26 October 2020