Thursday, 5 September 2013

In agony, walker who stepped on a poisonous giant hogweed: Man cannot expose injured leg to sunlight for 7 years

A man has described how his leg swelled up and erupted in blisters after he went to examine a ‘pretty plant’ that his wife had seen.

Keith Cooper did not realise that they had stumbled across giant hogweed and was hit by the plant’s toxic sap after stepping on one of its leaf stalks.

He had to be taken to hospital where he was told he could not expose his injured right leg to sunlight for seven years.

Mr Cooper, 50, was out for a stroll in Whitley Bay, near Newcastle upon Tyne, with his 49-year-old wife, Maria Graham when she spotted the plant in the undergrowth.

‘We were walking the dog near the coast road when my wife stopped to admire a plant and she asked if we could have one for our garden,’ the father-of-two said.

‘The sap rubbed against me but I didn’t realise as it didn’t hurt. I just thought I had been bitten. It was only when I got home that my right leg flared up and it started blistering.’

Unable to walk without limping, Mr Cooper, a former dispensing optician, went to hospital where his condition at first baffled doctors.

‘The consultant said she he had never seen anything like it,’ he said.

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Which brings me on to (and I don't need much excuse to advertise my adoration of the original and great) Genesis:

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