Just a few weeks ago, surgeons removed a whopping 37 pieces of Buckyball high-powered magnets from the stomach of a three-year-old named Payton Bushnell from Oregon. Earlier on, Payton had told her parents she wasn’t feeling well and it was suspected that she just had the flu.
When doctors took an X-ray of her stomach, though, they saw a circular object and thought the girl had swallowed a bracelet. By that time, the magnets had ripped a hole in her stomach already. Thankfully, the doctors were able to repair these tears and holes, and Payton is expected to fully recover.
Said Sandy Nipper, a nurse from the Randall Children’s Hospital, “In all the research I have done, I have never seen any child swallow more than 10 magnets.”
Payton’s mother, Kelli Bushnell, feels her child must have mistaken these for what they use to top Christmas cookies. “If we had any idea what those magnets could have done to our daughter’s intestines I would never have had them in our house.”
It is specifically stated on Buckyball packages that these are meant for kids at least 13 years old and are not intended for small children. It also says that “Swallowing of magnets may cause serious injury and require immediate medical care”.
The shocking reality about these incidents is that this is certainly not the first of its kind to occur in the United States. In fact, just this January 2012, 10-year-old Meredith DelPrete showed off to her classmates that she had a pierced tongue ring by placing one magnetic ball on top and under her tongue. Indeed, it looked like an actual tongue stud. But when she opened her mouth to show a friend, they slid off her tongue and she accidentally swallowed them.