Parents share harrowing ordeal after son swallows button battery from a set of scales

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  • A one year old boy has been left with crippling internal acid burns after swallowing a button battery from a set of scales.

    Chrissy Lennon first noticed her son Ollie was ill when he began vomiting black liquid, but was assured that he was likely suffering from asthma or a croup.

    But it wasn’t until she went to weigh herself a few days later that she noticed the button battery from the bathroom scales was missing. By this point, Ollie was still very ill, and she and husband Elliot immediately took him to the Southampton General Hospital – where an X-ray revealed the tiny battery lodged in his throat.

    After a 90-minute operation, doctors were able to remove the battery but expressed concern that it had corroded in the body and had caused internal burning.

    Speaking to Metro, dad Elliot said: ‘Normally doctors at the hospital wouldn’t perform surgery on a boy as young as Ollie but as it was an emergency, they did.’

    He was put into an induced coma and further scans in the hospital revealed little Ollie had indeed suffered scarring and acid burns in his trachea, but initially there was thought to be no corrosion of the windpipe.

    ‘We were so relieved. He was kept in a coma as he was so ill and would have been in a lot of pain.’

    It wasn’t until he came around a few weeks later that his breathing became ragged and medics established that the button battery had in fact burned through Ollie’s windpipe, and he was struggling to breathe or swallow.

    Back under an induced coma, he was rushed to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London where doctors were better equipped to deal with the emergency.

    Chrissy Lennon

    Chrissy Lennon added a new photo.

    ‘We couldn’t believe it,’ his dad said. ‘It had an impact on his lungs, and so his left lung collapsed. We were told he needed to be transported straight away to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London where they had specialist treatment, and could deal with him better.’

    Whilst staying overnight nearby, things took a dramatic turn.

    ‘Things escalated quickly,’ said Elliott. ‘We were giving accommodation by a charity near to the hospital but that night, while in bed, we got a call from a nurse. She said a security guard would be at our accommodation any moment to escort us to the hospital and we needed to see Ollie.’

    His condition had deteriorated so quickly that he had to undergo major emergency surgery that night.

    Elliott Pez Lennon

    Elliott Pez Lennon added a new photo.

    ‘It was a heart and lung bypass,’ explained Elliott in a Facebook post, where he has been documenting the journey. ‘He was given a one in 10 chance of survival. It was, hands down, the worst day of both of our lives. We were told, quite honestly, he could die. Seeing or little boy so ill was dreadful.’

    Ollie was given only a one in 10 chance of survival, but he pulled through against the odds and woke successfully from his coma. Now he is back home with his family, although still facing a number of challenges.

    ‘Now he can’t eat solids, so we are liquidising everything,’ explained Elliott. ‘He can also only groan. However, he is alive. And that is brilliant.’

    His parents are now committed to raising awareness of the dangers of button batteries following their son’s ordeal.

    ‘People need to be aware,’ concluded Elliott. ‘We’ve already noticed other items and toys with them in, and got rid of them – it isn’t worth it.’

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