Kacie Barradell was a normal, healthy two-year-old. Now, she’s fighting for her life and is being fed through a tube after she accidentally swallowed a tiny lithium ‘button’ battery.
Her mum, 27-year-old Cheryl Bell from Derby in the UK, is warning other parents of the damage batteries can cause.
"Kacie is lucky she survived," Cheryl told the Derby Telegraph.
"I'm going through hell and back. Kacie might not walk properly again for the rest of her life."
Cheryl, a mum of three, rushed her two-year-old daughter to hospital in February with diarrhoea and vomiting. Doctors were unable to determine what was wrong with Kacie, until an X-ray determined she had swallowed a 'button' battery.
Her mum believes the button came from a car key.
By that stage, Kacie's condition had deteriorated and she was unable to breathe properly. She was transferred to Nottingham Children's Hospital, where the battery was removed.
A week later, Kacie was still not recovering properly and began vomiting blood.
The two-year-old was transferred to Birmingham Children's Hospital, where she underwent a six hour operation to repair the damage caused to her tiny body by the battery.
Kacie is now recovering, but has to be fed through a tube as she cannot eat or drink due to the damage the battery caused to her oesophagus. It could be at least a month before Kacie is released from hospital, and she may still require further surgery.
Lithium button batteries - used to power household items like car keys and even children's toys - are not only a choking hazard, but can cause a lethal chemical reaction inside the body once swallowed.
The lithium inside the batteries reacts with saliva, causing a reaction that acts like "acid eating through flesh", almost as soon as it is ingested.
In Kacie's case, the tiny battery damaged and burnt her oesophagus, and also damaged two of the main arteries in her back, leaving her unable to walk.
"She could have died and she would have if it hadn't been for [Birmingham Children's Hospital]," her mother said.
"Kacie may never be able to walk properly again for the rest of her life. Button batteries are so dangerous."