One mom is on a mission to spread the message about a dangerous activity that almost cost her son his life.
On the internet, we've seen a surge in various participatory challenges that asks people to complete certain tasks. Sometimes these challenges can be for a good cause, such as the "Ice Bucket Challenge," which had folks dumping buckets of ice water over themselves to help raise money for ALS. However, oftentimes we've found that more dangerous challenges resulted in people dying. One of the deadly new challenges finding their way into schools involves powerful magnets, and so far, it's sent a few children to the emergency room.
12-year-old Freddie Webster was at school one day testing the magnetic capacities of ball bearings, as he'd seen in a challenge. To complete the challenge, he put one of the magnetic balls in his mouth and the other on his outer cheek. Sadly, he failed the challenge after swallowing two magnetic balls. Not realizing what he had done, Freddie tried a few more times to succeed and ended up swallowing two more balls, for a total of four. Later that same day, Freddie started feeling stomach pains and told his mom about the two balls he swallowed. While concerned, she assumes her son would pass them on the toilet.
However, the next day his pain had only gotten worse, and she rushed Freddie to the hospital. The x-ray revealed that four magnets had gotten stuck together and was causing the child serious internal harm.
On top of that, the doctor informed Freddie's mom that four other kids had recently ended up in the hospital with the same condition.
Freddie's situation was no laughing matter, as he needed to have emergency surgery to have the magnets removed and repair the internal damage caused by the balls. His surgery would end up taking over four hours, and he had to have about 10 centimeters of his colon removed.
After the surgery, Freddie was in stable but poor condition and remained in the hospital for eight more days.
And now he'll need lifelong medical care to ensure that his intestines and colon continue working properly.
Today, Freddie's mom is sounding the alarm about this challenge so that other parents can warn their children of the danger. You can learn more about Freddie's story in the video below.