Mom Warns Parents After 2-Year-Old Swallows Dad's Button Battery -- & Doctors Mistake It for a Quarter

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A toddler who swallowed a battery had to spend a week in intensive care after the acid burned through her esophagus and left her vomiting black gunk.

Abigayle Galle, 2, is lucky to be alive after she ingested the battery, which her dad, Jeff Galle, 26, had purchased to replace the one in his watch.

  • Jeff, a sanitation worker, became frightened when Abigayle began to wretch and cry in pain on July 19, unaware that she had swallowed the acid-filled disc.

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    The dad immediately called Abigayle’s mom, Lacey Walters, 25, who rushed home from the store to find the then 15-month-old crying in pain and losing her voice.

    Abigayle's grandmother, Missty George, 45, a healthcare worker, recognized the seriousness of Abigayle's behavior and rushed Lacey and her granddaughter to the ER.

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  • The family, of Abilene, Texas, were shocked when an X-ray revealed that the child had swallowed a circular object that doctors believed to be a coin.

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    It wasn’t until the tot began throwing up charred, black gunk that they began to suspect she had ingested a battery and Abigayle was immediately airlifted to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas.

  • Stay-at-home mom Lacey said she feared for her daughter’s life as she was rushed into emergency surgery to remove the battery and assess the damage to her gullet.

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    Lacey said: “Abigayle’s dad had gotten a new battery for his watch but it ended up being the wrong size. He left it on his computer desk where Abigayle got her hands on it.

    “Jeff was watching her while I was out trying to run some errands. He called me up and said she was crying and trying to throw up. I hurried home straight away and I watched her for 10 minutes.

    “Her voice was growing so faint and weak. It was clear she was hurting. I took her to the ER immediately where we were in the waiting room for about an hour."

  • She started throwing up and it was terrifying. It was black.

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    She was taken in for an X-ray and it looked like she had a quarter stuck in her throat. 

    "It was lodged in her airway, which was making it difficult to breathe. She was airlifted to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth," Lacey said.

  • “When we got to Cook they determined it was a battery."

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    “The doctor told us it had to come out immediately. She was rushed into surgery."

  • “We didn’t get to see her before surgery because it was so urgent. I was so worried.”

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    Fortunately the battery’s acid had not burned completely through Abigayle’s esophagus wall, but the toddler was fitted with a feeding tube and she was unable to eat for two weeks.

  • Abigayle’s doctors believe she is extremely lucky, but Lacey says her 2-year-old still struggles with her breathing and digestion after the accident.

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    Lacey said, “They said if the battery had been in there any longer it would have been catastrophic.

    "In the ICU, she was fitted with a feeding tube, which she was fed through for two and a half weeks. Sometimes when she sleeps she makes these scary gasping noises and she has problems with choking and swallowing. We cut up Abigayle’s food really finely now because she has trouble.”

    According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 3,500 incidents of button battery ingestion are reported to US poison control centers each year.

  • Lacey urged other parents to exercise extreme care when it comes to batteries of all types.

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    Lacey said, “I’ve become extremely protective and I am overly careful about everything now. I could have never imagined a little battery could cause so much damage."

  • “I would urge other parents to be extremely careful with batteries. They are in everything.”

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    To donate to Abigayle's Gofundme visit: https://www.gofundme.com/abigayle039s-fight

    This post was written by Patricia Murphy and reprinted with permission. 



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