Parents’ warning after toddler, two, ‘almost dies’ from swallowing six magnetic ‘fidget’ balls which started burning holes in her bowel
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A mother has issued a warning to other parents after her two-year-old daughter ‘almost died’ from swallowing six magnetic ‘fidget’ balls – which burned four holes in her bowel.
Jade Berriman, 31, said her toddler Meliyah-Jayd had to undergo emergency surgery when her body began to ‘poison’ itself after ingesting the 4mm beads – which are toy balls designed to relieve stress and stimulate the brain.
Ms Berriman claims she feared her little girl was going to die when she started vomiting litres of dark green liquid. ‘I knew she was dying and I knew she was leaving me,’ she said.
Meliyah-Jayd’s condition was initially passed off as gastroenteritis by doctors but a week later her mother rushed her to A&E – where medics then told her it was tonsillitis and sent the tot home with antibiotics.
But Meliyah-Jayd was still unwell and after struggling to see a GP, Ms Berriman took her to an urgent treatment centre a day later – where an ultrasound found her stomach was filled with fluid and she eventually underwent a three-hour operation.
Jade Berriman, 31, said her toddler Meliyah-Jayd (pictured together) had to undergo emergency surgery when her body began to poison itself after ingesting the 4mm balls
Meliyah-Jayd’s condition was initially passed off as gastroenteritis by doctors but a week later her mother rushed her to A&E (pictured is the toddler recovering from her surgery in hospital)
Meliyah-Jayd ‘almost died’ from swallowing six magnetic ‘fidget’ balls (pictured) – which burned four holes in her bowel
Mother-of-three Ms Berriman said her daughter started complaining of a stomach ache on September 2 and when the pain persisted, she called 111 and took her to visit an out-of-hours doctor at the Story Street Walk-in Centre in Hull.
The worried mother said the doctor diagnosed her toddler with gastroenteritis, inflamed bowels and a sore throat and she was sent home.
After Meliyah-Jayd’s tummy pains got progressively worse, and she discovered her ‘rolling around’ and ‘wailing’ in the early hours of September 10, Ms Berriman rushed her to the Children’s A&E department at Hull Royal Infirmary.
By this point Meliyah-Jayd had been continuously throwing up for nearly a week and hadn’t been to the toilet in 48 hours.
But after seeing the doctor, Ms Berriman claims her tot’s stomach pains were dismissed and she was diagnosed with tonsillitis and sent home with antibiotics.
‘I knew that was completely wrong but they gave her antibiotics and shipped me out with a lethargic baby who was being sick constantly and screaming with tummy pain,’ she said.
After being sent home from A&E with penicillin, Ms Berriman said Meliyah-Jayd projectile vomited every time she tried to give her a dose of the medication so she rang her GP the next day on September 11.
But after she struggled to get a same-day appointment, she rushed her daughter to the Beverly Urgent Treatment Centre in Hull – who admitted the toddler to Hull Royal Infirmary.
Ms Berriman, from Hull, Yorkshire, said by this point, her daughter had lost all colour in her face and she thought she was dying.
Meliyah-Jayd has been left with a permanent 12-centimetre scar across her stomach (pictured) as a result of the operation
Mother-of-three Ms Berriman said her daughter (pictured together) started complaining of a stomach ache on September 2 and when the pain persisted, she called 111 and took her to visit an out-of-hours doctor at the Story Street Walk-in Centre in Hull
After struggling to get a same-day appointment, she rushed her daughter to the Beverly Urgent Treatment Centre in Hull on September 11 – who admitted the toddler to Hull Royal Infirmary
She said: ‘[At the urgent care centre] they rushed her through as a priority and then the doctor rang the hospital and got her admitted straight away. She was losing all her colour and was so lethargic.’
At the hospital, Ms Berriman said 24-hour tests were run on Meliyah-Jayd but they all came back normal on September 13.
However, when the toddler began throwing up dark green liquid she was taken for an ultrasound. This revealed her stomach was filled with fluid and medics pumped it out.
‘It must have been litres flying out of her tummy,’ Ms Berriman said. ‘It was a green colour like the dark green innocent smoothie and this was her poo. Her body was poisoning her.
‘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. She was dying.’
An X-ray was then taken on Meliyah-Jayd’s stomach which is when Ms Berriman said doctors discovered the six magnetic beads in her bowel.
Meliyah-Jayd was then rushed in for a three-hour emergency operation to have the beads extracted – which resulted in 40cm of her bowel being removed.
Medics told Ms Berriman they didn’t know how her daughter had ‘survived all that time in so much pain’.
The tot has been left with a permanent 12-centimetre scar across her stomach.
Following her operation, Meliyah-Jayd spent five days on the high dependency ward and then another two on the Acorn ward before being discharged.
She is now recovering at home with her family but Ms Berriman said her daughter remains on ‘amber alert’ for the next six weeks to make sure her bowel doesn’t leak.
If it does, Meliyah-Jayd could need a stoma fitted.
Meliyah-Jayd is pictured in hospital being visited by her 12-year-old brother Teigan-Ja and eight-year-old brother Jaycob-James
Following her operation, Meliyah-Jayd spent five days on the high dependency ward and then another two on the Acorn ward before being discharged
Meliyah-Jayd (pictured before the incident) was rushed in for a three-hour emergency operation to have the beads extracted
Ms Berriman is now urging for parents to be wary of these magnetic balls and posted on Facebook to raise awareness of the dangers of children swallowing them.
She said: ‘I knew she was dying. It was horrible, and such an awful feeling. It was like a piece of me inside was leaving my body.
‘Don’t buy these metal balls. I wish I had never bought them for my son.
‘Of course, I am partly to blame for purchasing these for my older children and she must have swallowed them when I had my back turned for a second but I want to raise awareness on how dangerous these tiny little balls can be.’
A Hull University Teaching Hospital NHS Trust spokesperson said: ‘We are very sorry to hear that the care Meliyah-Jayd received did not meet the expectations of her family.
‘We currently have no record of the family contacting us via our PALS or complaints teams but we would encourage them to do so in order that we can investigate appropriately.
‘We are glad to hear that Meliyah-Jayd is recovering now and that she and her mother were happy with the care they received after she was admitted to hospital.’
A City Health Care Partnership CIC (CHCP) spokesperson who covers Story Street Walk-in Centre said they can’t comment on individual cases but urges anyone unhappy with their services to get in touch.
A CHCP spokesperson said: ‘A City Health Care Partnership CIC (CHCP) cannot disclose any details about the care of individual patients as this would be a breach of confidentiality, but we would urge anyone who has used our services and is unhappy about any aspect of their care to get in touch with our Customer Care team who will endeavour to resolve any problem or concern as quickly as possible.’
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