NOTHING is safe to leave out, as far as babies and toddlers are concerned – as little Abigayle Galle has proved.
She’s lucky to be alive after swallowing a watch battery which her dad had recently bought.
Jeff, 26, became terrified after his baby daughter started to wretch and cry in pain – unaware that she’d swallowed the acid-filled disc.
He immediately called Abigayle’s mum, Lacey, 25, who rushed home to find the then 15-month-old crying in pain and losing her voice.
Mum-of-four Lacey said: “Abigayle’s dad had gotten a new battery for his watch but it ended up being the wrong size.
“He left it on his computer desk where Abigayle got her hands on it.”
She’d nipped out to run some errands and immediately hurried home after Jeff rang her.
By the time she returned, she found the baby growing increasingly weak.
Abigayle’s grandmother Missty George, 45, a healthcare worker, recognised the seriousness of Abigayle’s behavior and rushed Lacey and her granddaughter to the ER.
The family, from Texas, were shocked with an X-ray revealed that the toddler had swallowed a circular object which the doctors believed to be a coin.
It wasn’t until the tot began to throw up charred, black gunk that they began to suspect she’d swallowed a battery, and she was immediately airlifted to Cook Children’s Medical Centre in Fort Worth.
“When we got to Cook they determined it was a battery,” Lacey continued.
“The doctor told us it had to come out immediately.
She was rushed into surgery. We didn’t get to see her before surgery because it was so urgent. I was so worried.”
Fortunately, the battery’s acid hadn’t burned completely through Abigayle’s oesophagus wall but the toddler still had to be fitted with a feeding tube as she was unable to eat for two weeks.
Doctors believe that she’s extremely lucky, but Lacey says that her daughter still struggles with breathing and digestive issues.
Lacey said: “They said if the battery had been in there any longer it would have been catastrophic.
In the ICU, she was fitted with a feeding tube, which she was fed through for two and a half weeks.
“Sometimes when she sleeps she makes these scary gasping noises and she has problems with choking and swallowing.
“We cut up Abigayle’s food really finely now because she has trouble.”
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 3,500 incidents of button battery ingestion are reported to U.S. poison control centers each year.
Abigayle’s parents are now urging others to take extreme care when it comes to leaving batteries around.
Lacey said: “I’ve become extremely protective and I am overly careful about everything now.
“I could have never imagined a little battery could cause so much damage.
“I would urge other parents to be extremely careful with batteries. They are in everything.”
Her mum claims that she can’t eat or drink anything until she heals completely still, and has to keep going back to the hospital – which is two hours away.
The pair are now fundraising to help them get to AbigAbigayle’s continuing care and to pay for their travel costs.