It was supposed to be a fun summer day for Stephanie Ellwanger's two daughters and their friends, an afternoon the friends spent splashing in Ellwanger's mother's pool in Hanford, California.
Later that night, all five girls broke out in a red rash that turned into massive, painful blisters. They were eventually hospitalised, and the baffled doctors initially thought they'd been the victims of chemical burns, until Ellwanger said that was in no way possible.
Ellwanger later remembered that they'd played with limes from a neighbour's tree, squeezing the fruits and splashing in the juice. The girls were then diagnosed with phytophotodermatitis, described as "a chemical reaction [to the lime juice] that makes bare skin hypersensitive to ultraviolet light."
After being hospitalised for two weeks, spending several days in an intensive care unit hooked up to morphine to manage the pain, they've been ordered to stay out of the sun for at least six months, and maybe permanently. "I feel guilty," Ellwanger said. "Who would've known these innocent little fruits could do so much damage."