Helping Taylor-Rose

Taylor-Rose’s dramatic story featured in this week’s episode of Paul O’Grady’s Little Heroes. Meet Simon Blackburn, the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) surgeon who played a key role in her treatment and recovery.

Simon is a consultant neonatal and paediatric surgeon at GOSH who looks after babies and children who have gastrointestinal surgical problems. He’s been at the hospital since 2014, treating children born with a variety of gastrointestinal challenges. 

He has a particular interest in treating children with colorectal problems and is part of several multidisciplinary teams that care for children and families with these issues.

The dangers of button batteries

One of Simon's patients, Taylor-Rose, came to GOSH with a button battery which had become stuck in the food tube (oesophagus). “Some of our patients are referred to clinic and some, like Taylor-Rose, come to the hospital as emergencies”, remembers Simon.

“Along with many girls and boys her age Taylor-Rose is naturally inquisitive and will investigate the world by putting things in her mouth now and then, which is how she ended up in this position. We would be really keen to emphasise to parents how dangerous button batteries can be.” 

“When Taylor-Rose came to GOSH, we initially tried to remove the battery using a telescope passed down her oesophagus.” Unfortunately, this proved to not be possible, and Simon and the team had to change tack.

“Taylor-Rose then had a CT scan, which suggested that the battery had eroded out of the oesophagus into the neck. The only way to remove it, unfortunately, was to perform an operation through the neck to take it out.” This was a difficult procedure which required help from his colleague, Joe Curry – an expert in oesophageal surgery.

After the operation, Taylor-Rose was looked after on intensive care for several days before continuing her recovery on Chameleon ward.

A steady recovery, a brighter future

Unfortunately, one of the main arteries in the neck needed to be moved out of the way, meaning that Taylor-Rose suffered a short-term nerve injury, which gave her a droopy eyelid for several weeks. Happily, she has now made a recovery.

“I am pleased to say that she seems to have made a good recovery and I hope there won’t be any long-term consequences for her.”

Simon reflects: “Taylor-Rose is a lovely little girl who is a pleasure to look after. It’s been great getting to know her and her family and being alongside them during what was a really tough time.” 

“The real joy of the job is looking after the patients, being alongside them and their families and seeing them get better with the support and care we all provide.”

Taylor-Rose features on the ITV series Paul O’Grady’s Little Heroes sharing her story. 

“It was great to see Taylor-Rose and her mother feature on the show. I am keen that her story will help families understand the dangers presented by button batteries so they can keep their children safe from the harm that they can do.”

Find out more information on the harm that button batteries can do.