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Botulism: Baby 'completely paralysed' by extremely rare toxin found in dirt and honey is saved

A West Midlands baby left "completely paralysed" after being diagnosed with botulism has been saved, after he picked up the rare toxin from an unknown source.

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Baby Thomas spent some weeks recovering in hospital (Photo: Birmingham Women's and Children's Hospital/SWNS)

Mums Alba and Emily, who did not want their last names used, said they rushed six-month-old Thomas to A&E when he suddenly went "floppy", at home in Birmingham. The youngster's condition initially stumped doctors - leaving his parents frightened.

Thomas was eventually diagnosed with botulism, which can be found in dust, soil, and honey. Rare in the UK, the condition causes a toxin - which can be deadly - to be released through the body.

In fact, it is so rare that staff at Birmingham Children's Hospital had to source medicine from California. The antitoxin travelled more than 5,000 miles in under 48 hours after rapid customs approval was given.

The antitoxin baby Thomas needed had to rushed in from California (Photo: Birmingham Women's and Children's Hospital/SWNS)

Thomas is now back at home and is recovering well - and Alba and Emily say they are indebted to the team at the hospital. Emily, a French studies professor, said: “Seeing what they do and how far they go for their patients was life-changing and will stay with us forever."