Last Sunday (August 9, 2020), our Travis had to go through an Endoscopy procedure to remove a foreign object from his throat. Now I know what you may be thinking. How did a coin get into his throat? Was nobody watching him? Why was he playing with a coin?
So let me share to you our traumatizing experience..
5:30pm We just got back from the pool and wanted to get some rest before dinner when Travis showed me his magic trick.
He would often hide one toy in one hand and you have to guess which hand it would be.. so I played with him. I found the coin in his right hand, thinking that was the end of the trick, I gave attention to Aiden who was also asking me to do something.
Then I heard a hard gulp, then choking, then cry. MY HEART STOPPED. Right away I screamed and asked him “what was in your mouth???” Sean tried to make him vomit by sticking his finger inside his mouth but it didn’t work, he stopped choking and we made sure he wasn’t turning blue and was able to breathe properly. I looked for the coin and saw one by the bed. So I asked him again “what was in your mouth?” He said “I don’t know” and continued to be quiet. We knew right away something wasn’t right because he looked like he wanted to gag.
So I asked him “How many coins were you playing with?” He said two. And that’s when I knew he swallowed a coin. We weren’t 100% sure because he wasn’t crying or choking. I called my friend who was a doctor and she immediately told us to go to the ER.
6:00 we got to MDRMC. He was still ok, he was drooling and was getting sleepy (maybe because of the pool earlier) but the ER told us to go to SPMC or Davao Doctors Hospital.
6:20 we arrived at Davao Doctors and we asked for an XRAY. We told them that we are not sure that he swallowed anything but we wanted to make sure. I accompanied him to his XRAY and our poor baby was so scared because of the big machines, he was crying and it was hard for us to keep him still. The first XRAY came out and there it was, the coin. I wanted to cry but I knew my son needed me to stay calm. So I tried my best to comfort him while we finished all the XRAY’s.
7:41pm The resident told us that an ENT was on her way and most likely the coin will need to be removed through the mouth. My husband and I didn’t know what to feel, we were so scared and worried but we needed to stay calm for Travis. I had to call my sister because I didn’t know how long I could stay calm and she arrived right away to help us with Travis.
The doctor arrived and informed us that we needed to extract the coin right away. The resident anesthesiologist, who was a batch mate of mine, talked to us about the whole process and reassured us that Travis will be asleep the whole time.
10:00pm We were assisted to the Operating room. Luckily Travis was so tired that he fell asleep before seeing the big room with all the nurses and doctors, I knew he would have panicked. I stayed with him until the anesthesia kicked in.
11:17pm The coin was out and I was waiting for him in the recovery room. I finally calmed down while holding the container with the 25 cents in it. I couldn’t stay overnight at the hospital because I’m pregnant so I said my goodbyes and went home to put Aiden to bed.
The next day I was woken up with a video of Travis happy and talking, he was all better. Sean told me that he woke up in the middle of the night saying “Dad it doesn’t hurt anymore, the coin is gone!”
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to go home the next day. In his Xray they found something that could be pneumonia and that labelled us under the respiratory illness which meant he had to be observed and the hospital needed to give Travis a Covid test. We asked our friends and family who are doctors and they told us that it could just be an inflammation due to the choking but we didn’t want to argue with the hospital policy because we knew that being in a pandemic we had to oblige with tests.
It took 24 hours until the test came back, and it was negative. So we got ourselves ready to go home.
Why am I sharing this to all of you? Because this was a wakeup call for us. Our kids can be tough and strong, they don’t show fear and barely cry for anything. But they are kids and they can have accidents that could possibly cost them their lives. I have replayed the moment over and over in my head and I cannot think of what I could have done to prevent this. I don’t even know where he got the coins to begin with because we’re pretty cautious about leaving money around the house. We would always put coins in the kids piggy bank or in our change box on top of the fridge. I took my eyes off him for 2 seconds, and that’s all it took for us to be in this situation.
That 25 cents costs us 106k pesos in hospital bills (after insurance)… Yes that’s a lot. But it could have cost us our son’s life if the coin had not been stuck upwards in his throat. We consider ourselves lucky.
So please, moms and dads, no matter how old or how independent, or how careful our kids are, please always give 100% of your attention. I know it’s almost impossible with everything you have to do in a day, but this has given us trauma. And when in doubt, no matter how far or what time it is in the night, go to the ER.
Ending this post while hugging my sons tighter than before. Thanking God that we are still complete and healthy.