A 6-year-old boy was rushed to the hospital with severe internal injuries after drinking drain cleaner he mistook for water.
According to reports, Sonny Arthur was rushed to Great Ormond Street Hospital after digesting caustic soda crystals that were found in cleaning product.
“It is a life-changing thing,” Arthur’s mother, Victoria, said.
“His treatment will be for life. It is that serious. He was hooked up to all sorts of tubes, but he took it all in his stride, but we didn't. It was just a complete whirlwind. At the moment he is still being fed through the tube, but he's getting used to it.”
Family friend Jenna Wingrave described to the Daily Mail how Arthur came to drink the liquid.
“The bottle was standing on the side. Vikki thought he'd hit his head at first, but then she noticed his lips looked sore. She wasn't getting much sense out of him so she called an ambulance,” Wingrave said.
“The contents had already been tipped down the drain but there were still a few extra droplets which Sonny thought was water. The paramedics checked him over and said that something wasn't right.”
The boy’s mother said that when he drank the drain cleaner, her son first began to hold his mouth before grasping his throat and then beginning to vomit.
“That's when we started to panic,” Victoria said.
“We have six children, so I'm used to cuts and grazes and bumps and bruises, but not this. We are very careful parents, we're not cavalier about anything. I told him not to go into the bathroom because I had cleaned it but I didn't say don't touch the bottle and of course he didn't put two and two together - why would he?”
Arthur was placed in a medically-induced coma after having trouble breathing. He is now stable, though his recovery will take years.
Family friends subsequently rallied behind the family to support them following the terrifying incident, raising nearly $3,000 to help them offset traveling costs from their home in Essex to the hospital in London.
“I am aware of the major financial implications this sort of thing can have on families,” Wingrave said.
“The Arthurs are such a wonderful family and this whole ordeal has totally shocked everyone, so I just wanted to give them all a boost. There's never a good time for this sort of thing to happen, but as a family they were all looking forward to Christmas with Abbie being out of hospital, but they feel helpless.”
Arthur was sent home on New Year’s Eve, though he continues to undergo treatment.