Dad’s brush with UK’s most dangerous plant leaves him unable to walk

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A poisonous plant has left a dad unable to walk from third degree burns.

Paul McGeachin's legs flared up with painful puss-filled blisters after he walked past Britain's most dangerous plant, Giant Hogweed, last Tuesday.

The 40-year-old chef became so overcome with agony that he called in sick at work and sought help from A&E when he could no longer stand up.

Paul from Glasgow told the Daily Record : “It’s really dodgy. I was out and about going magnet fishing and was wearing three-quarter-length trousers.

“I didn’t know anything about it. I was none the wiser until the next day when I first felt irritation on my skin.

“At first I thought I could just use a dot leaf but it got worse."

Giant Hogweed is a toxic, invasive species in the UK which most commonly grows in areas near water.

It looks like enormous cow parsley and can often be mistaken for common hogweed which is not poisonous.

The phytotoxic sap from the plant can cause serious burns to the skin when exposed to sunlight.

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Paul encountered the plant on March 30 while walking across a bridge near Priesthill Road in Pollock.

He said the pain became so intense he called NHS 24 who told him to head to A&E at at Victoria Hospital on Wednesday, March 31.

He was given a course of antibiotics and told to stay off his feet.

However medics warned him the painful blisters could take months to clear up, and may even leave him scarred for life.

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Those who come into contact with giant hogweed often suffer long term sunlight sensitivity.

Paul said: “I have to just take it easy. I’m a chef so would normally be on my feet all day which I can’t do.

“I’m just hoping it eases sooner rather than later.”

Keen magnet-fisher Paul says he regularly takes his daughter on walks around the area, and warned families of the dangers of Giant Hogweed.

He added: “My daughter Jessica is 3, and is always picking up flowers.

“Giant Hogweed looks like wild garlic but with a much bigger flower.

“I just thank god she didn’t see it.”

The Record has contacted Glasgow City Council for comment.

More safety information about giant hogweed and how to spot it can be found from the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative. More safety information about giant hogweed and how to spot it can be found from the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative.

  • NHS
  • Fishing
  • Hospital
  • Family

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