A TEENAGER who suffered a severe reaction to swine flu drug Tamiflu was later told she had not even contracted the virus.

Samantha Millard had taken Tamiflu after advice from the NHS swine flu helpline, but 72 hours later she was in hospital on a life-support machine.

The 19-year-old, of Purslane Drive, Bicester, had a severe allergic reaction to the drug and developed the life-threatening Stevens Johnson syndrome It later developed into toxic epidermal necrolysis syndrome, which has left her with damaged eyesight and a string of health problems.

She spent a month in hospitals in Oxford and London, but was back home for her 19th birthday, on January 9, to start a slow recovery.

Her mother Debbie Van Horenbeeck said she was speaking to a solicitor about the information given out by the NHS helpline. She claimed the helpline did not warn her daughter about the potential side-effects.

The 42-year-old, who is now Samantha’s full-time carer, said: “They have disabled my daughter from that helpline.

“When they told her she had swine flu, they did not inform her of anything that could go wrong. The Government told us we should take this if we got swine flu.

“I don’t think they have tested this enough – she had a severe allergic reaction. Apparently, we have not got a case against Tamiflu.”

Mrs Van Horenbeeck, Samantha’s stepfather Bart, sister Charley and boyfriend Tom Earl wanted to thank people for their support and messages left on social networking website Facebook.

Doctors have warned Samantha it will take up to two years for her body to recover and cannot put a timescale on if, or when, she will get her sight back.

She said: “It’s hard. I can’t bathe myself, I can’t dress myself, I can’t watch films and I can’t read books.

“I sit in my bedroom with my sunglasses on, curtains closed and the TV on so I can hear it. I don’t know how long it will take for my eyes to heal.

“I know I’m improving but some days it’s really hard to cope with it. I can’t cry — I have no tears.

“Sometimes I can’t fall asleep until 2am, then I’m up at 8am for my eye-drops.”

Samantha had taken just three of the 10 tablets when she had a severe reaction to them, starting with a red rash that developed into blisters.

Her body was covered in blisters, including her scalp, mouth, lungs and throat, which were so severe her long hair had to be shaved off.

But a test done by the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, in London, later showed she never had swine flu.

The Bicester Community College student lost the top layer of skin, her vision has been left blurred and she lost a stone in weight.

She has eye-drops every hour as well as a special cream to protect her skin from infection.

Now, when she leaves the house, she must wear sunglasses and a hat.

She said: “It’s hard, because I’ve got a little nephew, Joshua, who is seven months old, who I can’t see and can’t physically hold.”