Stoke-On-Trent mum, Stacy-Marie Nicklin, lost her daughter Harper-Lee in a button battery accident. This is her story.

Harper-Lee was definitely a little character. We used to always call her ‘Sassy Pants’ because she was little diva, everything she wanted she got.

Her favourite thing she loved to do was sing and dance, especially to the soundtrack to the film Moana. That film really did have some of her favourite songs, it was on all day every day…I can’t listen to some of the songs now from that film.

Obviously it’s still a bit raw, it’s alright during the week because I keep busy with campaign work, it just hits hard on the weekends. I had her on the Saturday, we went to a children’s party, left her Sunday morning, and she passed away Sunday night, so weekends are incredibly horrible for me at the minute.

When it comes to button batteries, I didn’t have a clue how dangerous they are.

I didn’t realise how much stuff button batteries are in, like musical birthday cards and they’re only secured with a piece of paper over them. I was very, very surprised to learn how many items they’re in, I’ve also had people message me to say they’ve found button batteries at the bottom of their toy boxes where they’ve just fallen out of toys. The amount of things I’ve found out what they’re in, it’s actually shocking. They’re even in children’s lollipops that make a noise, and if a child stands on them, they’re only thin and made of plastic so they can easily break and the battery can just come out.

In the remote Harper had the battery out of, there was no catch, no screw, so she pulled it out, since it happened we actually found another remote. So we checked that one, and the back of just slid open, as it slid, the battery just flew up in the air because they’re not secure enough.

An elderly person who has bad eyesight could quite easily mistake it for medication, and kids could mistake it for a sweet.

I know we can’t get button batteries banned, but I want to know that more people are being made aware of the dangers, or for companies to look at ways to get them out of non-essential goods like toys, remote controls, car keys, musical greetings cards, and small electronic devices such as calculators and weighing scales. The amount of people I’ve spoken to don’t even know the dangers, the parents who are messaging me aren’t aware, there just seems to be a real lack of awareness.

That day when Harper went into the hospital, she was covered in blood. The button battery had been through her oesophagus, her main arteries, so I know she couldn’t have survived that. If she had, she wouldn’t have lived the life she was living before.

At first we thought it was her tonsils because she’s always suffered with septic tonsillitis. Her doctor had thought initially her tonsils had burst, so when they went into theatre to have the camera inserted, I was shocked when the surgeon came back out to me and said “It’s not her tonsils, it’s a button battery.”

My initial thought was, she’s in safe hands, they’ll retrieve the battery, and I’ll see her in a couple of hours. I did not realise the extent of the damage they can do. It wasn’t very nice what we saw Harper go through. We didn’t realise that button batteries can cause death.

The last thing she ever said to me was ‘Mummy, I need you’.

I’m going to continue raising awareness, I will not let my baby die for nothing. As much as I’m still grieving and hurt, I don’t want any other parent or family going through what my girls and I are going through.

For more information and advice on button batteries visit our link here: https://www.rospa.com/home-safety/advice/product/button-batteries
Posted: 8/25/2021 2:05:28 PM 0 comments


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