2 minutes reading time (317 words)

San Tan Valley toddler swallows button battery


Luke McMillan's life hung in the balance when he swallowed a button battery just days after his first birthday. Today, at 19 months old, Luke is still recovering and his family couldn't be more grateful for his presence in their lives. As the youngest of five boys, Luke has brought joy and completion to his family.

Erica, Luke's mother, recalls how he fell ill with a fever and was prescribed antibiotics, but they did not help. The family was at a loss as Luke was choking and spitting out food. After five weeks of searching for answers, x-rays revealed a circular object lodged in Luke's esophagus. He was rushed to the hospital for surgery and faced the possibility of not making it. Erica and Luke's father, KC, were devastated at the thought of losing him.

Dr. Gary Kirkilas, a pediatrician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, warns that button batteries can cause severe damage by producing electrical burns. In some cases, these burns can occur within just two hours and symptoms such as chest pain, vomiting, and spitting out blood may occur.

However, in Luke's case, the battery was wrapped in tape and plastic, reducing its contact with tissue, which is why he did not show severe symptoms. Young children like Luke, with smaller esophagi, are at higher risk of severe symptoms and may require surgery.

Luke's story serves as a cautionary tale for other parents to be aware of the toys and batteries in their homes. Although the family is unsure where Luke swallowed the battery, they believe it came from a toy. Luke is still recovering and undergoing surgeries, with a couple more to come. His parents' insurance will not cover the costs, so they have set up a GoFundMe page for Luke's medical expenses. Despite the challenges, Luke has made progress, including eating a banana recently.

Story originally covered by AZFamily

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