Dog walker’s face swells to TWICE its normal size after accidentally brushing giant hogweed


The dog walker’s face swells to TWICE its normal size and she is covered in boils and blisters after accidentally brushing against giant hogweed

  • GRAPHIC CONTENT DISCLAIMER
  • Christina Sabine, 26, was brushed in a poisonous hogweed plant in Warwickshire
  • Her face swelled to twice its normal size and was covered in painful boils
  • Three months after her ordeal, she was still in pain and was almost unable to walk.










A dog walker’s face swelled up to twice its usual size and was covered in huge boils after accidentally brushing against a poisonous plant.

Christina Sabine, 26, from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, woke up to find her skin swollen “as if it had been sprayed with acid”.

The amateur artist said she was in so much pain that she could not walk and was rushed to hospital for treatment.

Doctors said she likely touched the poisonous giant hogweed plant while walking her two dogs, Mocha and Latte.

Three months later, she said she was still in agony and was barely able to walk or use her hands.

Christina Sabine, 26, from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, pictured after her face swelled to twice its usual size and her skin was blistered “as if she had been sprayed with acid” because of she had slipped into a giant hogweed

Christina was walking her dogs Mocha and Latte when the poisonous plant touched her skin

Her face swelled to double its usual size and boils and blisters appeared on her skin

Christina was walking her dogs Mocha and Latte when the poisonous plant touched her skin. Her face swelled to double its usual size and boils and blisters appeared on her skin

Christina pictured in the morning before the start of her hogweed trial in Warwickshire

Christina pictured in the morning before the start of her hogweed trial in Warwickshire

She said: “I woke up and saw myself in the mirror.

“My face was swollen and all of my skin was blistered and I looked like I had been the victim of an acid attack.

“My whole body was in too much pain to even move.

“I even questioned calling 999 because I thought it could be life threatening.

“At this point, I didn’t know why, and when someone said it seemed to be caused by giant hogweed, I had no idea what they were talking about.

“When I did the research it really made sense because I walk past loads of plants when I walk my dogs, but I never knew they were poisonous.

The amateur artist said she was in so much pain that she could not walk and was rushed to hospital for treatment.

The amateur artist said she was in so much pain that she could not walk and was rushed to hospital for treatment.

She said:

She said: “Months later I’m still feeling the impacts.” It hurts every day and I can’t use my hand properly because it’s still too painful. “

Doctors promptly treated her hands for boils and blisters caused by the poisonous plant

She added:

Doctors quickly treated her hands for boils and blisters caused by the poisonous plant. She added: “I want to raise awareness because it can be so dangerous and it could have been a lot worse if it had been a child instead of me”

Although the blisters on her hands are gone, Christina remains in agony and cannot create art, this is how she makes a living.

Although the blisters on her hands are gone, Christina remains in agony and cannot create art, this is how she makes a living.

“Now, months later, I’m still feeling the impacts.

“It hurts every day and I can’t use my hand properly because it’s still too painful.

“I want to raise awareness because it can be so dangerous and it could have been a lot worse if it had been a child in my place.”

She added: “It shouldn’t be allowed to grow in public spaces – and if it does, people should see it and know they should stay away.”

Christina was on a public trail along the River Avon to downtown Stratford with her two dogs when she encountered giant hogweed

Christina was on a public trail along the River Avon to downtown Stratford with her two dogs when she encountered giant hogweed

Christina was on a public trail along the River Avon to downtown Stratford when she encountered giant hogweed.

She had no idea until she woke up the next morning, July 24, with swelling, blisters and boils on her hands, back, fingers, neck and legs.

She said, “I couldn’t walk because of the pain – everything was red, swollen and blistered.

“There were big balls of orange pus on my hands and my skin was red – I felt like I had soaked my hand in acid.”

She went to Warwick Hospital and was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for treatment.

After her ordeal, she filed a complaint with Stratford District Council.

The council declined to comment while investigations are ongoing.

What is giant hogweed?

Hogweed plant

Hogweed plant

Giant hogweed is a non-native species in the UK.

It was first introduced to the UK as an ornamental plant in the 19th century after being discovered in the Caucasus Mountains and Central Asia.

The plant escaped and naturalized in the wild and can now be found throughout much of the UK, especially on river banks, as its seeds are carried by water.

It has spread uncontrollably across Scotland for decades, producing up to 50,000 seeds which can survive for many years.

But the sap from the grass, which looks like a giant version of the harmless cow parsley plant, is extremely toxic to humans and animals, causing horrible burns to the skin.

The skin remains sensitive to UV rays for many years – and can even cause blindness if it is near the eyes.

Every year, thousands of people, including children and pets, suffer life-changing injuries from giant hogweed after accidentally coming into contact with it in the wild.

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