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Two-year-old Kacie Barradell, of Derby, suffered serious injuries after swallowing a button battery in February (2017). Her mother Cheryl Bell tells her story.

We had stored a brand new pack of lithium button batteries – the size of a 10p coin – in a drawer, that were for a set of car keys.

On February 10 Kacie started feeling unwell and so I took her to A&E. She had sickness, diarrhoea and tonsillitis and we were sent home with antibiotics.

The following Friday Kacie fell ill again and so I took her back to hospital. The hospital thought that her bug had returned. When I woke up the next morning I noticed that Kacie wasn't breathing properly. I rushed her straight back to hospital again and this time they said that she had pneumonia. The doctors wanted to send us home but we refused and Kacie was put on a ward.

"The doctors think the button battery was in there for 48 hours before they found it."

One of the doctors spotted something on Kacie's X-ray but did not know what it was at first and so transferred the X-ray to Nottingham City Hospital. We then had a phone call in the early hours of the morning to say we had to get down to Nottingham because it was a button battery. The battery was removed and Kacie stayed in the hospital for eight days before being discharged.

Within two weeks of being at home, Kacie started vomiting blood clots. She was rushed to Birmingham Children's Hospital and spent six-and-a-half hours in surgery to fix her aorta, oesophagus and two arteries in her back where the button battery was sat. It turned out that the chemical had not been fully drained out when the battery was removed and so it was still damaging her tissue.

Kacie in hospital and the button battery

Kacie in hospital, and insert,
the battery that was removed

It was thought that Kacie could be paralysed from the waist down but she is walking again now, although she still needs a bit of support on her legs and can only walk for a short while until she starts crying that her legs hurt. When she walks now her feet point outwards.

She couldn't eat or drink while she was in hospital because of the damage the button battery caused to her oesophagus. She's managing to eat and drink again but she's on a special diet and we have to watch what she eats.

It's devastating. You go numb and your mind goes blank. You don't think it will happen to you. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

The doctors think the button battery was in there for 48 hours before they found it. We haven't got a clue how it's going to affect her long term. We have to take it day by day. It's just horrible.

Kacie must have got hold of the batteries while I was doing arts and crafts with my other two children and nieces. I wasn't aware of the dangers. I would say to parents don't let your kids play with your car keys. Don't buy items that have got button batteries in. If you know they have got button batteries in don't buy them because it's not worth it. It's not worth losing your child's life over. Since the accident I have put safety locks everywhere. I have had to start doing everything, not just to keep Kacie safe, but my other two children too.

Click here for more information on the dangers of button batteries.

Posted: 6/19/2017 11:05:47 AM 0 comments


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