A NSW mum has urged people to throw out wire barbecue grill brushes after her daughter suffered a months-long health battle after eating a bacon and egg roll.
Kristen Saunders’ daughter started feeling like she was choking as she ate the roll at a Newcastle venue in July.
Unbeknown to her parents, the nine-year-old had swallowed a piece of wire that had come off a barbecue grill brush and ended up in her roll.
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“I think like most parents, we’re like, ‘You’ll be fine, have some water, it’ll settle down’,” Saunders told ABC Newcastle Breakfast.
Saunders had a GP check her daughter, whose only symptom was a high temperature.
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But over the next few days a sore throat worsened to the point she was unable to eat solid food.
Then she started showing neurological symptoms.
“There was this one particular day I was at home with her and all of a sudden she was a bit confused answering questions,” Saunders said.
“I was like, ‘Hang on, there’s something really problematic here’ and called the GP.”
The medical practitioner told Saunders to go straight to the hospital.
Kristen Saunders’ daughter suffered a months-long health battle after eating a bacon and egg roll with an errant wire in it. Credit: FacebookThe wire pierced Kristen Saunders’ daughter’s oesophagus, then pushed into the carotid artery. Credit: Facebook
Saunders’ daughter was stumbling, disorientated and unable to recognise her own family when she was admitted to John Hunter Hospital.
“They identified that there were some abscesses in the brain,” Saunders said.
“They ended up at the last-minute doing a CT and identified there was this tiny bit of wire, sort of near her neck.”
Saunders’ daughter was then flown by emergency helicopter to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney.
There it was revealed the young girl had a major infection in one of her arteries after the wire pierced her oesophagus then pushed into the carotid artery.
Doctors had to replace the nine-year-old’s artery, which came with significant risk.
Saunders said the experience was “awful” but her daughter was given “amazing care”.
Kristen Saunders’ daughter is now in recovery and doing well after getting a major infection from the wire (right). Credit: Facebook
The young girl spent four weeks in hospital, undergoing major vascular and cardio thoracic surgery then aspiration of brain abscesses — then another six weeks on IV antibiotics.
“She is well on her way to recovery but it could have been so much worse,” Saunders said.
Saunders urged people to throw out their wire barbecue grill brushes, citing a 2016 study which revealed they were the cause of 1700 emergency department visits in the US from 2002 to 2014.
That equates to about 140 cases per year.
“Please protect your family and friends and throw out your wire barbecue grill brushes,” Saunders said.
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