Lucky Lateesha back to bubbly self after swallowing battery

LUCKY BREAK: Lateesha and her dad with images of the damage the battery caused.
LUCKY BREAK: Lateesha and her dad with images of the damage the battery caused. Lucy Cantori

FIVE-year-old Lateesha Gallagher was just moments away from death when it was discovered she had swallowed a tiny battery found in common household items.

The five cent-sized lithium three volt battery started releasing its acid as soon as it was swallowed and became lodged within Lateesha's oesophagus.

For three days the battery lay there where it burnt a hole completely through the oesophagus.

During that time, the family was on holidays at Lateesha's grandfather's house on the Gold Coast.

She complained about having a "sore heart", but her parents assumed she must have pulled a muscle while wakeboarding.

It wasn't until her 10-year-old autistic brother Zaydan remembered seeing Lateesha swallow the battery days earlier.

She was rushed to hospital where she was successfully operated on and spent two weeks living off a drip before being omitted.

Her mum, Angie said Lateesha had soldiered through the entire experience.

"She's been really good - her high pain tolerance has helped her through it," she said.

"She's a social butterfly - she had all the nurses wrapped around her finger, for her it was just hanging out with the nurses."

But it could have been so much worse.

The acid was potentially minutes away from burning blood vessels, which would shut down her heart - similar to the infamous Summer Steer case.

The Sunshine Coast four-year-old was the first person to die from swallowing a battery in 2013. Lateesha has been released from hospital, but will be heavily monitored until the wound is healed as she remains at risk of internal bleeding.

Angie has teamed up with a doctor at hospital and plans to make a Facebook page promoting awareness for young parents.

"I wouldn't have any of them in the house, (but) they come in just about every household item, like toys.

"They're on the bottom of most electric scales and you can just flick them out, a child could do it."

Topics:  batteries hospital

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