Young girl's disturbing symptoms after smelling common flower

·News Reporter
·3-min read

A six-year-old girl was left with raw blisters inside her nose, a red rash across her swollen cheek, and an eye crusted shut after she stopped to smell a garden flower.

By the time little Ari Neuweg was suffering heart palpitations, breathlessness and lethargy, her parents were petrified.

After rushing her to their GP in the US state of Mississippi, Ari was treated for an allergic reaction.

Ari with a red rash on her face
Soon after smelling the flower, little Ari's face swelled up and a rash broke out across her cheek. Source: Facebook

“Her doctor thought it was poison or an allergic reaction to pollen in the air,” her mum Chavana Neuweg told Seven News.

Ari did have a few allergies to bees, bugs and plants, so a rash wasn’t uncommon.

But this time was different.

The family was sent home with medication, but Ari’s rash showed no signs of slowing down, and when she continued to doze and suffer memory loss, her parents began to search their garden.

Ari with a red rash on her face
The red rash covered Ari's face while raw blisters appeared inside her nose. Source: Facebook

“I had intuition or something telling me to look at plants in the yard,” Chavana said.

“My husband and I needed answers for our daughter.”

Using an app to identify different varieties of plants, Ari’s parents scoured their garden until they spotted the white flower she had smelt just days earlier.

It was poison hemlock. A toxic plant that can poison sheep, cattle, swine, horses, domestic animals, and humans.

With fern-like leaves and white flowers, hemlock usually adorns riverbanks, roadsides and stockyards.

Poison hemlock
Poison hemlock is highly toxic and can cause serious illness or even death in humans. Source: Getty

While native to North America, Europe and China, the life-threatening plant is widespread across Australia, except in the Northern Territory.

NSW WeedWise says it is “highly toxic” and “capable of causing serious illness or death” in humans.

Symptoms can include nervousness, trembling and then respiratory distress, according to the website.

“We had no clue this plant was dangerous,” Chavana said.

“It was literally everywhere in our backyard.”

Ari with a red rash on her face
Ari is slowly recovering but is still having problems breathing and sleeping. Source: Facebook

With the help of creams and medications, Ari is on the road to recovery.

Three weeks on from the incident, the rash has receded and her skin has almost healed, but the little girl is still struggling with breathing and suffering heart palpitations.

Her mum is now urging others to be aware of what lurks in their garden and to watch out for deadly weed.

Ari's mum is urging other parents to be vigilant about what could be growing in their backyard. Source: Facebook
Ari's mum is urging other parents to be vigilant about what could be growing in their backyard. Source: Facebook

"Although I hate my baby's face being shared all across the world, I hope it saves others from having to experience this," Chavana wrote on Facebook.

"Knowledge is power and at the end of the day, spreading awareness about the dangers of Poison Hemlock could saves someone's life."

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