A 40-year-old dad has been left unable to walk after brushing up against a weed known as Britain’s most dangerous plant.
Paul McGeachin has painful pus-filled blisters all over his legs after his skin touched Giant Hogweed.
The chef told the Daily Record he brushed up against the plant on a bridge in the south side of Glasgow on Tuesday, March 30.
He was forced to call in sick then ended up in A&E after the pain across his legs became so severe he was in agony and unable to stand less than 24 hours after contact with the plant.
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.
Paul encountered the plant on March 30 while walking across a bridge in Pollock.
He said: “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 dock leaf but it got worse.
Paul said the pain became so intense he called the NHS who told him to head to A&E at Victoria Hospital.
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.
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.”