Yesterday I met Stacy, mother of Harper-Lee, a beautiful toddler whose tragic death seven weeks ago has led to Stacy’s campaign, supported by the Sentinel, to prevent another child from injury or death as a result of swallowing a button battery. I am championing this vital campaign.
Harper-Lee has a happy, funny toddler who loved to sing and dance. On that fateful Sunday morning, she had watched her favourite Peppa Pig on television, then rubbed her eyes to show she was tired. Stacy lay her on the bed and left for work – just up the road. Two hours later, daughter Jamie rang to say something was terribly wrong. She had called an ambulance and Stacy rushed home to see Harper-Lee covered in blood. Initially, the doctors thought it was a burst tonsil, but the internal injuries pointed to the fact that she had swallowed a button battery that had burnt through her oesophagus.
At 10.17 that evening, Harper-Lee passed away in Children’s Intensive Care at the Royal Stoke Hospital. Stacy recalls Harper-Lee’s last words “Mummy I need you”, and Stacey said she loved her and would see her soon. Stacy now visits Harper-Lee’s grave in Carmoutside’s Butterfly Dreams Garden twice a day.
Stacy is an incredibly brave mother who wants to ensure that what she and her family are going through does not happen to other families. It is her way of ensuring Harper-Lee's legacy as well as helping her focus on a positive purpose as she is grieving.
I have promised Stacy that I will take the campaign to Westminster and fight for Harper-Lee’s Law.
To raise awareness of this tragic death and the issue of the danger of button batteries
To call for a ban on button batteries in non-essential items
To set a minimum safety standard for products containing button batteries to prevent them from falling out.
To require the safe packaging of button batteries and work with supermarkets to ensure the batteries are not displayed in aisles at child height.
Button batteries are sold in many items aimed at young children – fast-food outlet free kids’ toys, books with sounds, birthday cards, lollipops with a children’s toy attached. However, Harper-Lee swallowed a button battery from an LED light remote control, and so many appliances that lie around the house may contain these potentially lethal batteries. Stacy told me that a well-wisher put a tea light on Harper-Lee's grave, not thinking that it contained a button battery. Stacy felt this was disrespecting Harper-Lee's memory and removed it immediately.
Please show your support for this campaign by signing the petition at: https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-harper-lee-s-law-outlaw-killer-button-batteries-in-non-essential-goods?source_location=topic_page
Harper-Lee's death was a tragedy. It must not happen to another child.