A mom from England is sharing a stark warning to parents after her daughter nearly died from swallowing a popular toy.
Jade Berriman, 31, said that her 2-year-old daughter, Meliyah-Jayd, had to undergo emergency surgery after she swallowed six colorful magnetic “fidget” balls that burned four holes in her small bowels, Kennedy News and Media reported.
As a result, Meliyah-Jayd had 40 centimeters of her bowel removed and was left with a permanent, 12cm scar.
After the daughter began complaining of a stomach ache on Sept. 2, her mom — from Hull, in East Yorkshire — took her to the doctor, where they sent her home after initially believing that she just had gastroenteritis, inflamed bowels and a sore throat.
“A week after her tummy pain first started, I came home from work and on Sunday morning she was rolling in pain,” Berriman told Kennedy News.
“She wasn’t crying, she was wailing,” she continued. “It was the worst sound I had ever heard, so we took her to A&E.”
At that point, the toddler hadn’t gone to the bathroom in 48 hours and was throwing up for nearly one week.
She rushed her daughter to the Children’s A&E department at Hull Royal Infirmary, where doctors diagnosed her with tonsillitis — a detection that Berriman knew was “completely wrong.”
They simply gave the baby antibiotics, Berriman claimed, and sent her home.
But every time Berriman went to give her daughter the medication, she would projectile vomit, which was alarming.
It was then, the mom said, that Meliyah-Jayd had lost all color in her face and was still crying out in pain.
“At this point, I knew she was dying and had an awful feeling that we were going to lose her,” Berriman said.
She decided to take her daughter to yet another urgent care center, where the doctor phoned a hospital and had her admitted right away.
While in the hospital, her tests came back normal — until she started to vomit dark green liquid, prompting doctors to give the tot an ultrasound.
“It must have been liters flying out of her tummy,” the 31-year-old claimed. “It was a green color like the dark green innocent smoothie and this was her poo.”
“Her body was poisoning her,” she continued. “She was so floppy and weak she couldn’t hold herself up. She was choking on her own vomit and we had to hold her up.”
The X-ray revealed that not only was Meliyah-Jayd’s stomach full of fluid, but it was there were six magnetic fidget balls stuck in her bowel, causing her extreme pain.
Within the hour, she was rushed into a three-hour emergency surgery and spent nearly one week recovering in the hospital.
“The surgeon said he didn’t know how she survived all that time in so much pain,” Berriman said. “He said he’s taken a lot of magnets out of children, but this is the worst he had ever seen.”
Berriman expressed particular concern with Hull Royal Infirmary A&E, telling Kennedy News that the facility showed “little care” for her child.
“They failed to give my daughter the duty of care she needed and this could have killed her,” she continued. “If they had done their job, it may have saved the damage she had suffered.”
When contacted by Kennedy News, the facility expressed that they were sorry to hear Jade felt her daughter hadn’t received adequate care and reportedly urged her to reach out to them.
Thankfully, the 2-year-old is now recovering at home, but her mom said her bowels could still leak, which means that she would have to go back to the hospital and have a stoma fitted.
Still, despite all the hardship, Berriman said it’s a “miracle” her daughter is still alive today.
In light of what could have been an awful tragedy, the mom is warning other parents not to let their children play with fidget balls, even though she admits that she’s “partly to blame” for buying them in the first place.
“I would say to parents, you know your child better than anyone else,” Berriman advised regarding how to approach treatment. “You fight for what you believe.
“If you think your daughter or son is really poorly, you tell the doctors and do not get passed,” she continued. “Do not leave until you know your child has the care they need.”