Early on, his parents just thought he had the flu. But after a few days, it was clear something else was going on with 4-year-old Beck White, who lives in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Beck’s mother, Jennifer, noticed something was off about the color of her little son’s vomit — a clear sign it was more than just the flu. So she took him to the hospital, where Beck’s parents discovered a Christmas present was wreaking havoc on his body.
“He started to vomit a very dark color. It looked like coffee grounds,” Jennifer told WTMJ-TV. “At that point, I knew something was very wrong.”
She was right. An X-ray performed late last week revealed Beck, who has autism, had swallowed 13 magnets from a magnetic building toy he opened on Christmas just a few days earlier.
Beck, according to his mother, was able to easily snap the toy’s magnetic pieces open and ingest the small magnets inside the plastic casings.
Once the magnets were inside Beck’s body, they ripped holes through his intestines and his stomach, causing the little boy to lose parts of each organ.
“When he individually ingested them they were doing what magnets do and trying to get to each other through his intestines. And it created holes in the lining so they had to fix those,” Jennifer said.
“I really thought these were safe,” she continued. “Absolutely thought he would be OK. If I had an inkling that this would have happened, I would have just got rid of them.”
Following the X-ray, Beck was sent to the local hospital in Appleton before being rushed to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, where he received emergency surgery. Surgeons repaired what they could and removed irreparable parts of Beck’s organs.
Jennifer wrote in a follow-up Facebook post that Amazon has since removed the product in question from its online store.