Eating liquorice all sorts paralyses granddad for a year

A granddad from Worcester was left paralysed after having too many liquorice all sorts.


by Fiona Day |
Published on

Keith Ballantine had finished a packet of the aniseed sweets when he got an upset stomach.

The antibodies from his upset stomach caused a bad reaction in his body, leaving him with a nerve disorder.

He told the Daily Star: ‘I ended up having a bit of an upset tummy, and a week later, I was struggling to get out of bed.'

'It's been an absolute nightmare. I lost three stone in a month and it's taken me a year to start walking again.’

The 68-year-old developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome after eating the sweets.

He noticed his thumb was weak and bruised following an upset stomach but the symptoms soon spread to other parts of his body.

He was soon admitted to hospital where doctors diagnosed him with the nerve disorder.

‘I'm just so thankful that my family have been there to support me through my recovery,' said Keith.

Keith was hospitalised after he began to lose sensation (stock image)
Keith was hospitalised after he began to lose sensation (stock image)

'Although I'm not the man I was, there's no point crying 'why me?' I've just been very unlucky.’

'If you'd asked me two years ago which, of all the illnesses I could get, which one would scare me most, I would have said GBS. There's something about this illness, it's so horrible - I really feared it.'

Consultant Neurologist Dr John Winer who is an expert on GBS told the newspaper: ‘In 75 per cent of cases of GBS there is a history of infection and that can be caused by either bacteria or a virus.’

‘We can identify which infection GBS developed from in half of all cases, but we don't understand it completely and in a large number of cases, the cause of the GBS is unclear.’

Caroline Morrice, director of Guillain-Barré support charity Gain, also said: ‘It definitely could have been related to the liquorice.’

'But it's like all rare illnesses. We need to do more research, which is why we're trying to raise a million pounds to help people like Keith.’

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