Kirsty Duffy, of Wombwell, had taken two-year-old Elsie-Rose to Sheffield Children’s Hospital on August 29 for an appointment she had arranged months in advance.
The two-year-old had been suffering from stomach pains and had not been eating properly for a few months but when an X-ray was taken, it showed a penny-sized lithium cell battery lodged in the youngster’s throat.
The battery was stuck near the top of Elsie-Rose’s oesophagus and doctors told Kirsty her daughter was close to being critical as her throat was burning due to the battery’s electrical current mixing with saliva to produce caustic soda.
“It was a complete shock,” said Kirsty, 29. “It all went by very quickly and she was rushed from the children’s hospital to Leeds General Infirmary.
“It was the worst feeling in the world. I felt completely helpless and I didn’t know what to do. The surgeons said they would try to get it out and told me what they were going to do.
“The surgeons told me her chances of survival were like her walking across a motorway without getting hit by a car or lorry. I couldn’t believe it.
“They told me to give her ‘one last kiss’ and although I was devastated and in shock at the time, I just did my best to be with her.”
Luckily, surgeons managed to remove the battery after placing a camera down Elsie-Rose’s throat. She then spent four days in the intensive care unit (ICU) before being allowed back home.
Kirsty, who has four other children, said she now wants to raise awareness of what can happen if children swallow batteries.
On the Child Accident Prevention Trust website, it states that button batteries are ‘small, round batteries that come in many different sizes and types’.
“Lithium button batteries (often called ‘coin batteries’ or ‘coin cell batteries’) are the most powerful and common as they power many of our devices at home, including toys, games, watch batteries and more.
Speaking about children swallowing batteries, a spokesman for the Child Accident Prevention Trust said: “If a lithium coin cell battery gets stuck in a child’s food pipe, it can cause catastrophic internal bleeding and death within hours of being swallowed.”
Kirsty said: “I still don’t really know how the battery got there.
“She’s not the type of toddler who puts items in her mouth usually so I didn’t know what had happened. I have two older daughters and I think they might have had some of those batteries in their room.
“I just want to raise awareness because people don’t know how dangerous they are.
“It was a miracle the surgeons managed to get the battery out of her throat. They thought it had been there for around 24 hours so it was so lucky we were already at the hospital as it might not have been found.”
Elsie-Rose is back to her usual self and is going to Sheffield Children’s Hospital again soon for a check-up on her condition.