A day at the park took a horrific turn when four teenage boys came in contact with a toxic plant that ultimately turned their lives upside down. According to Mirror Online, the four boys brushed up against a toxic hogweed plant while at the park, and later complained of strange blisters and burns that slowly began appearing all over their skin.
One of the boys identified as Conor Knot, 13, was rushed to the hospital by his parents while another teen named Reid Daley, also 13, had been in and out of another local hospital. However, the medical attention they both received initially did nothing because doctors treated their condition as an allergic reaction.
During an interview with the publication, Reid’s stepfather, Mathew Cocklin, recounted how the ordeal began. Within 48 hours, his stepson went from having what most would identify as noticeable blisters to having agonizing red rashes that resemble burns and boils.
“That night on Monday he was screaming in agony,” Cocklin said of his stepson. “Doctors didn’t have a clue what it was. It starts like a red rash, like if you slap someone quite hard it goes bright red and slightly raised up and within 48 hours blisters start to appear. Since Tuesday morning he has had to take eight blister tablets in one go, Ibuprofen and painkillers. He said ‘I want to die, stop this pain from hurting.'”
Knott’s aunt, Rachel Brooks, also shared details about his injuries. “His burns are all down his arms and all down his legs,” she said. “They don’t seem to be clearing up.”
Cocklin has also contacted the city in reference to the hogweed plant at the park demanding that it be removed. A spokesperson with the Bolton council released a statement about the incident confirming that the hogweed plant would be removed, reports Manchester Evening News.
“We were very sorry to hear of the injuries to four children caused by giant hogweed in Moses Gate Country Park. Our policy, which follows the DEFRA code of practice, is to immediately treat all instances of giant hogweed on our land to remove its presence. As soon as we were made aware of this plant by one of the parents of the children, we began treatment to remove it.”
Coming in contact with a hogweed plant can have lasting effects on victims. In some cases, it has taken up to seven years for skin to heal after being exposed to toxic hogweed.
[Image via Wikimedia]