Australian infant stricken with botulism digging deep to save other mums from heartache

Lucas Whitelegg was stricken with botulism at nine-weeks-old and left him paralyzed for 241 days.

botulism microThe Mildura, Australia, youngster spent 10 months in intensive care at Monash Children’s Hospital after ingesting spores of Clostridium botulinum bacterium, found in dust and honey.

Ms Bailey was based in  Melbourne alone and did not leave Lucas’s side, spending most of the year away from her support network and husband who could not afford to give up his job in Mildura.

During this time Andrew travelled 30,000km, commuting between Mildura and Melbourne. Eventually Lucas’s movement returned, and for the first time last month, at 17 months old, he began to crawl.

“We waited so long for these milestones so when you finally see them, they blow you away with excitement and happiness,’’ his mother Bree Bailey said. “To know what he’s come from to where he is now is incredible.’’

Botulism in Australia: Lucas Whitelegg is going home after 241 days at Monash Children’s Hospital

Lucas Whitelegg is finally ready to embrace the world with both arms after spending 10 months with his entire body paralysed by botulism.

Three days after celebrating his first birthday, Lucas will on Friday wave goodbye to the Monash Children’s Hospital staff who helped him through 241 days in intensive care and the gradual return of his movement from the pure form of Botox. For Lucas’ mother Bree Lucas WhiteleggBailey it will mark the end of nightmare that began when he was 8 1/2 weeks old and ingested a spore that sprouted botulism in his belly, which then spread through his bloodstream and paralysed his entire body.

One of only 13 cases of botulism in Victoria in the last five years, doctors had to retrieve a $100,000 antitoxin from the US to save Lucas and then wait for the paralysis to wear off.

It was weeks before Lucas could even open his eyes, three months before his fingers and toes wiggled, and eight months before his lungs and diaphragm freed up allowing him to breath without a ventilator.