Tauranga baby fights for life after battery accident

Baby Devon Hacche, eight months, who swallowed a battery, causing severe burns. He has since undergone five surgeries.
Amanda Hacche/Facebook

Baby Devon Hacche, eight months, who swallowed a battery, causing severe burns. He has since undergone five surgeries.

A Tauranga baby may never make a sound or breathe on his own again after he swallowed a button battery, severely burning the inside of his throat.

Eight-month-old Devon Hacche swallowed the lithium-ion button battery on December 15, and has since undergone five surgeries, including a Christmas Eve operation where his chest was opened up and his heart and lungs stopped while surgeons attempted to cut out and repair burn tissue from his trachea and oesophagus.

Devon is currently in pediatric intensive care at Starship Hospital in Auckland, where he faces at least eight months in hospital followed by at least three more years of treatment.

Devon Hacchel
Facebook/Amanda Hacche

Devon Hacchel

His mother, Amanda Hacche, wrote an account of the accident on Facebook, describing it as every parent's worst nightmare.

She had been out of town on a work trip when it happened. Devon had been playing with his sister and a cousin when he suddenly became "extremely distressed and inconsolable". However, he soon settled, and his carers put it down to the infant being over-tired.

When Hacche returned, the only signs there was something wrong had been a runny nose, some coughing and wheezing. Hacche took Devon to see a doctor at Accident and Emergency, who suspected bronchitis and sent them home with an inhaler, spacer and paracetamol.

But Devon's breathing deteriorated through the night.

"By morning Devi was wheezing worse than ever and he was struggling and working hard for every breath," Hacche said.

She decided to take him straight to hospital, where Devon was given an x-ray and the battery lodged in his oesophagus was revealed.

"It turns out this is one of the most damaging and dangerous things that my beautiful boy could have ever ingested as they react with the saliva/gastric fluids and cause an electro-chemical reaction which causes deep and extremely fast corrosion burns into soft human tissue," Hacche said.

Ad Feedback

"In Devi's case the button battery had lodged itself deep in the oesophagus (food tube) and has caused severe and significant burns in and through the oesophagus wall and then burnt into the trachea!!

"It does not get much worse than this."

Hacche, a self-employed human resources director, has been at Devon's bedside in Starship Hospital for the past six weeks.

A Givealittle page, "Help for battery baby Devon", has been set up to raise money to go towards medical costs and care for Devon's siblings, Mikayla, 5, and Brayden, 15.

As of this morning, $7436 has been donated to the family.

According to The Battery Controlled, a group formed to raise awareness about the danger of button batteries to young children, battery-related child injury is a growing issue in New Zealand.

Between 2011 and 2013, the National Poisons Centre received 175 calls regarding children under 6 years swallowing or inserting batteries in their nose and ears. 

From March 2009 to February 2012, 63 children were treated at Starship Hospital for battery-related injuries.

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers

Breast fondling doctor's court appeal

The Medical Council of New Zealand has suspended Dr Mushfiq Ahmad's practicing certificate.

In 2016 Dr Mushfiq Ahmad indecently assaulted six female temporary workers.

Former politician turns educator video

Sam Lotu-Iiga will join Manukau Institute of Technology as deputy chief executive Pasifika.

Pesata Sam Lotu-Iiga is looking forward to the opportunity to help get people into jobs with his new role.

Love living in south Auckland

Barbara Lucas, 52, is a people services manager at Auckland Airport. She lives in Papatoetoe.

Barbara Lucas, 52, is a people services manager at Auckland Airport. She lives in Papatoetoe.

Campaign targets 'menacing dogs'

Auckland Council says the desex drive, targeted at menacing dogs, is about helping get dogs under control for theirs and ...

Auckland Council's campaign means there will be fewer unwanted litters of dogs, a councillor says.


The secret possum rescuers video

Dawn the baby possum is four months old and thriving.

They're one of our most hated pests. But there's an underground network trying to save them.

Our crumbling capital

A car was crushed by a slip on Palliser Rd, Roseneath,Wellington.

Wellington has become slip city, with about 400 reported this winter already, far more than usual. But why?

Police defend sneaky snaps

Police photograph protesters at the 350 Aotearoa climate change protest outside Parliament in June.

Cops delete their pics of Rex Tillerson protesters, but their actions have drawn criticism.

Log hits forestry worker

A forestry worker was in great pain after being struck by a log in rural Wairarapa. (File photo)

Injured worker struck by log winched out of forestry block and flown to hospital.


Nurse shuns diets, loses 46kg video

Lisa Press says at 55 she feels better than she has ever felt in her life.

She's gone from 114kg and breathless to 68kg and "the happiest and strongest" she's been.

300m Canty car roll

A man has crashed 300 metres down a bank in Canterbury. (File photo)

A man has serious injuries after rolling his car over 300 metres down a bank.

The battle for Christchurch Central

National's Nicky Wagner is the sitting Christchurch Central MP.

Blue jacket vs red swanny: Nicky Wagner and Duncan Webb talk tactics and campaigning in the heart of the city.

Jetty repair edging closer

Fixing the 300 metre-long Governors Bay jetty could start next year, with $700,000 secured so far.

Fixing the 300 metre-long Governors Bay jetty could start next year, with $700k in the bag.


Ferrari clocked at 210kmh

A Ferrari California T similar to the one Hui Zhang was driving when he was pulled over after speeding at 210kmh on the ...

Businessman roared on when cop spotted late model Ferrari California on expressway.

Rennie airs Chiefs' 'hate' video

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie will join Scotland club Glasgow Warriors after Super Rugby.

Chiefs and Crusaders have hardly had a cosy relationship since Dave Rennie took over.

Home burns to ground

Neighbours were the first to spot the flames surging from the 30m by 15m building around 11.30am on Thursday.

Residents were in a nearby town when they heard the fire siren.

Growth gobbles up rural roads

Roadworks on Hamilton's Kay Road are a blessing in that they slow drivers down, resident Sian Wilson says.

Residents ask council for footpaths and lower speed limits on what were once rural roads.


Asbestos removal continues

Ambulances at the ready at their Barrett Street Hospital base in New Plymouth circa 1981.

The demolition work at Barrett St Hospital has no set end date and will "cost us just over a million dollars".

Te reo? No problem

Most Taranaki secondary schools offer both compulsory and optional te reo Maori classes

Did you learn te reo Maori at high school?

The rich and the richer

mazon President, Chairman and CEO Jeff Bezos has been named the richest person in the world.

OPINION: Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos are obscenely wealthy but they've also made the world a more convenient place. Is that enough?

New owners for burger joint

New Prohibition owners Andy Le and Gabby Tran will be keeping the burger restaurant much the same.

A popular New Plymouth burger joint is under new ownership but the burgers won't change.


Wowed over WOW

Jennie Munro in her workshop with costumes that have been finalists in Wellington's international World Of Wearable Arts ...

A Palmerston North designer has made the finals of September's wearable arts show.

No intercepting emails

Horizons Regional Council chief executive Michael McCartney sees no reason to intercept emails, unlike Horowhenua ...

Council chief executives see no reason for intercepting emails - unlike Horowhenua council's boss.

Collar-dragging teacher cleared

Clive Stevens with his grandmother Maureen Stevens.

Teacher who dragged special needs student along floor did nothing wrong, investigation finds.

Back to school

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei stopped to talk with Tanika Jeffery, 14, who was learning speech writing in te reo, at ...

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei talks education at her old high school.


Cafe plans for historic building


The former Green Grocer Store on the corner of Grove St and Tasman St in The ...

After 20 years as a greengrocer, a heritage building in The Wood could be home to a new cafe.

Man critically injured

A man has critical injuries after a car hit a tree on the Coastal Highway.

Driver trapped in a car with serious injuries after a car hit a tree near Nelson.

Tool time returns to preschool video

Phoenix Brimble-Morrison uses tools donated by Mitre 10 Mega to Healthkids Preschool after its previous tools were stolen.

Hand drills, hammers and saws stolen from a Nelson preschool have been generously replaced.

Calls to defer Waimea dam plan

Lindsay McKenzie says the degree of uncertainty about the level of commitment to the dam project is of concern.

Lack of binding commitments by other potential funders of the dam frustrates TDC.


'Our niche is Marlborough'

Dog Point Vineyard co-owners and event sponsors Ivan Sutherland, left, and James Healy read up for the Marlborough Book ...

With intimate venues and stunning surrounds, the Marlborough Book Festival is a little different.

Power to the people

Marlborough Lines managing director Ken Forrest shows off the newest addition to the company fleet, an all-electric ...

A lines company is letting residents take a spin in its new electric car.

Bigger planes?

Sounds Air chief executive Andrew Crawford inside the cockpit of one of the company's 9-seat Pilatus PC-12s.

Demand for flights prompts Marlborough airline to investigate "quantum leap" to larger planes.

Blenheim bemoans unfair fares

Air New Zealand said it would not be reinstating direct flights to Christchurch from Marlborough Airport.

"It's almost like we've offended Air New Zealand somehow and they're making us pay." 

South Canterbury

Troops stage op in Waimate

Private  Nathan Hammond keeps a watchful eye out at a vehicle checkpoint in Waimate.

Waimate has been turned into a foreign nation infiltrated by insurgents- but only for a week.

Disease hits top farm

Aad and Wilma van Leeuwen's herd has been struck by the cow disease Mycoplasma bovis, and 150 of their cattle will have ...

Rich-list farming dynasty which owns world's "largest robotic farm" devastated by cow disease.

Teen sentenced to home detention

A teenager who helped to steal more than $41,000 of goods from a dairy, stole vehicles and set a car alight has been ...

Home detention for teenager involved in crime spree across Canterbury.

Region poised for milk boost

While the forecast price rise from Fonterra is good new for South Canterbury dairy farmers, regional Federated Farmers ...

Another $25m added to South Canterbury farmers' milk payout.


Fire guts city house

Firemen at the scene of the gutted house, which was owned by former mayor Eve Poole, on Friday morning.

A fire has gutted the house of former mayor Eve Poole in Invercargill this morning.

Mass killing fantasies

Southland man Tony Gow has been sentenced in the High Court at Invercargill after admitting a raft of firearms offences, ...

A Southland man who fantasised about mass killings could not get the mental health help he needed, court told.

World champs beckon

New Zealand discus thrower Marshall Hall practices ahead of the 2017 IAAF World Championships.

Invercargill discus thrower 'committed and focused' ahead of world championships.

Ice causing crashes

10082016. News.Kavinda Herath. Southland Times/Stuff-Ice on the Winton Lorneville Highway

Police are warning drivers to take it slow and beware of ice on the roads.

Ad Feedback