Heracleum mantegazzianum or ‘the giant hogweed’ has been described by many as a ‘horror’ plant. Hogweed has been constantly spreading and growing across the US states of Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
Hogweed is a beautiful plant but touching it can cause lifelong consequences such as permanent scars and burns or possibly blindness if it comes in contact with your eyes.
It grows between 8-14 feet and has lobed, dark green leaves that can hit 5 feet in diameter.
There are a number of life-threatening plants out there that irritate our skin when touched or poison us if consumed. But giant Hogweed is one of the deadliest.
The plant is known by many names such as cow parsnip, giant cow parsley, cartwheel-flower, or hogsbane.
What makes Hogweed Dangerous?
Hogweed has a special sap that contains a chemical called Photosynthesizing furanocoumarins.
The chemical makes the plant extremely sensitive to light for growth and better health.
When you touch Hogweed, it will immediately make the area of contact extremely prone to sunburns which may lead to skin problems.
“Once you get it on you, it makes your skin unable to protect itself from the sun.”
If by any chance the sap comes in contact with your eyes, the extreme sensitivity to light can possibly cause blindness.
What to do if the sap gets on your skin
To lessen the damage, wash the affected area with soap and water and contact your physician immediately. A doctor may prescribe medicine that will help it heal faster. Cover your skin to protect it from sunlight for the next few days.
If you spot giant hogweed in your backyard, do not try to get rid of it by yourself. Instead, contact a pro plant control specialist as soon as possible.
Man Dies Just 48 Hours After Contracting Flesh-Eating Bacteria In Florida – Now His Daughter Wants To Warn Others
Dave Bennett from Tennessee has died 48 hours after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria while on a trip to Florida to visit his daughter.
Taking to Facebook to share the story, Cheryl Bennett Wiygul, explained how her dad, Dave Bennett, contracted Vibrio vulnificus which later killed him and issued a warning that she believes people should heed. In the post she wrote,
“Flesh eating bacteria sounds like an urban legend. Let me assure you that it is not. It took my Dad’s life. This is so raw and personal to me that I did not want to post about it, but if I can help one person, then it is worth it.”
Cheryl revealed that her dad had cancer and as a result, his immune system was compromised. Cheryl’s dad along with the rest of Cheryl’s family had fun and enjoyed family time out in the water near Crab Island during their visit to Florida. They had no idea of what was about to happen.
Before her family’s visit, Cheryl had heard of a 12-year-old girl who had contracted bacteria through an open wound that began to eat her flesh but didn’t think much of it. In her post she writes.
“My parents were coming down to stay with me in Florida about a week after the post about a 12 year old girl contracting bacteria that turned into necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating bacteria) in Destin started circling around. I didn’t want to believe that.
“My family loves being in the water. Our county, Okaloosa County, posted an article titled “Rumor Control” in response to the post which seemed to diffuse everyone’s fears. The girl had a cut on her leg so I felt like it reinforced to me not to go in with a cut. I researched a little. When my parents got in town I was fanatical about Neosporin and liquid band-aid.
“My Dad didn’t have any open wounds. He had a couple places that were practicality healed small scratches on his arms and legs that I made sure were super sealed up. My mom religiously sun-blocked him. We were taking precautions and we were good, so I thought.”
However, Dave Bennett had unfortunately contracted a potentially deadly bacteria. Early the next morning, on a Saturday, Dave awoke with fever, chills and cramping. Soon afterwards, he developed pain in his legs and a badly swollen black spot on his back.
Dave was rushed to the hospital and put on IV antibiotics. Several spots started to appear on his skin. The next day, on a Sunday, he passed away.
“There were no bacteria warnings at any beach or park we went to,” Cheryl wrote. “They do post advisories for high bacteria but there were none. I would never have taken my Dad in the water if there was a bacteria advisory but it would have been because I didn’t want him to get a stomach virus not because I thought it would kill him.”
Vibrio bacteria live in certain coastal waters and are found in higher concentrations between May and October and is the cause of as many as 100 deaths in the U.S. each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Cheryl and her family. May God’s love and grace comfort them.
Please remember to share Cheryl’s warning about this potentially deadly bacteria, You may just save a life.
7-Year-Old’s Bruises Get Worse Daily, By The Time They Realize It’s Meningitis It’s Too Late To Save Her Legs
Everything was going great for Aimee and her new husband, Craig. They were loving every moment of their honeymoon which had just started, but quickly their fairy tale turned into a nightmare.
It all started when their daughter, Brogan, began to develop black and blue marks all over her body. Just 14 days after she stood beside her mom at the altar, little Brogan was left fighting for her life in a hospital bed.
Initially, everyone assumed that Brogan’s bruises were simply a consequence of a child being a child. Even the physicians at a local hospital simply brushed it off for a minor skin issue.
However, when Aimee realized that the spots had spread to the other parts of Brogan’s body, she knew it was something gravely serious.
She immediately rushed to the doctors who realized the cause rapidly this time.
The 7-year-old showed clear indications of meningitis. She was then rushed to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham.
Meningococcal meningitis is a possible life-threatening illness and seeing as Brogan’s treatment started so late, there wasn’t much that doctors could do. They were forced to amputate Brogan’s left leg in order to save her life.
“It looked nothing like a rash, it looked more like bruising – at the time I never thought it was meningitis and that’s the problem. When people are aware of what symptoms to look out for with meningitis, they say look for a rash but that’s not what it looked like to me.” Aimee explained.
After the amputation, Brogan was fitted with a prosthetic leg to help her walk.
Soon after, the doctors discovered that Brogan’s other leg was also badly affected and was a threat to her life. Last year, the family and the doctors agreed to have it amputated as well.
Thank God Brogan had a strong support system in her family. “Nothing can prepare you for what meningitis does to a body, let alone a little seven-year-old girl,” Lisa Reece, Brogan’s mom’s cousin said.
Blessed with a strong and fighting spirit, she has been able to overcome all challenges life threw her way.
Brogan’s mom, Aimee, says she wants to remind other parents to be on the lookout for odd changes in their children’s bodies so that they can recognize the symptoms in time and don’t have to go through what Brogan has.
Common symptoms of meningitis:
- Sudden high fever
- Severe headache that seems different than normal
- Stiff neck
- Headache with nausea or vomiting
- Confusion or difficulty concentrating
- Sleepiness or difficulty waking
- No appetite or thirst
- Sensitivity to light
- Skin rash (sometimes, such as in meningococcal meningitis)
PS: In newborns, they often show symptoms such as: High fever, Excessive sleepiness or irritability, Poor feeding, Constant crying, Inactivity or sluggishness, Stiffness in a baby’s body and neck and a bulge in the soft spot on top of a baby’s head (fontanel)
Dad Shares Heartbreaking Photo Of Dying 4-Year-Old Hoping To Raise Awareness
Every parent’s worst nightmare is seeing their child suffer and its even more devastating when they can’t do anything about it. This was the situation 4 year old Jessica’s parents were in as they watched her suffer for more than a year.
It all started when Jessica was hospitalized for 10 weeks for a bone infection. Just when she was about to be released, doctors told her parents, Andy and Nicki, that they had discovered a mass in the 4-year-old’s tummy.
“It was devastating. Jessica was all ready to come home. She was even in her coat. Then we were told she’d need to stay in hospital for more tests.” Andy explained.
The mass turned out to be a cancer on Jessica’s liver. She immediately started treatment but the cancer only continued to spread to other parts of Jessica’s little body.
Doctors explained that the treatment wouldn’t cure Jessica, it would only prolong her life. Andy and Nicki wanted to do what was best for their child. So, they made the difficult decision to stop all treatments.
“The news felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest while someone sucked the air from my lungs,” Andy said.
Doctors said without treatment, Jessica would only have a few weeks left to live. As a photographer, Andy decided to use his camera to capture a moment from his baby girl’s final days in a bid to help others.
The heartbreaking photo is raising awareness on the harsh reality of childhood cancer. Andy hopes that, in raising awareness, his daughter’s story will inspire more efforts, funding and research to find a cure so that other families don’t have to go through such heartbreak.
Andrew’s heartbreaking Facebook post reads:
“As a photographer it is important to capture the truth and the reality of a situation, too easy it becomes to capture the joy of life whilst discarding the torture that we see.
This is the hardest photograph I have ever made, it is in fact my own four year old daughter.
A few days ago she was given what is most likely only a few weeks to live after a battle against cancer that has been waged for over twelve months. This photograph was made in a moment that we as parents could offer her no comfort, her pushing us away whilst she rode out this searing pain in solitude.”
“This sadly, for us as a family, is not a sight that we see rarely.
This is now a familiar sight that we see regularly through each day and night, its frequency now more often. This is the true face of cancer, my baby girls blood vessels protruding from beneath her skin, a solitary tear running down her cheek, her body stiffened and her face contorted in pain.
I could try and use a thousand words to describe this image that we as parents are confronted with on a daily basis but these words would fall short of truly depicting the sight we see.
With this photo I do not mean to offend or upset, I do mean however to educate and shock those that see it in it’s context. Perhaps by seeing this photo people not in our position will be made aware of the darkness that is childhood cancer, perhaps these same people may be able to do something about it so that in the future no child has to suffer this pain, so that no parent has to bear witness to their own flesh and blood deteriorating daily.
The only apologies I offer are to those that know Jessica, I understand that this photo is hard to see and even harder to absorb. To those that do not know Jessica I offer no apologies, this is what cancer does to a child in their final weeks and days!!!
Before her diagnosis I was one of those ignorant to the darkness of childhood cancer, not truly appreciating the hell that it brings.
It would never happen to us!
Now I give childhood cancer the respect it deserves, seeing too many children suffering this same fate and watching families torn apart.
If this photograph only serves as a purpose to make people think twice about this evil and put into perspective what it does to a child then it has achieved its purpose. Research needs to be done, cures need to be found, too long now has this been allowed to happen.
Please I beg of you, as a heartbroken father, it is too late for my daughter, but childhood cancer needs to be cured. No family should have to go through this hell.”
Sadly, not long after Andrew’s post Jessica’s battle ended and she went home to be with the Lord.
Our prayers go out to the family and we applaud Andy for having the bravery to share such a difficult time to try to help others.