5 Year Old Has 65 Surgeries Due To This Common Household Item That Puts His Life In Great Danger
The medical journey for 5-year-old Emmett Rauch has consumed nearly his entire life. This was all because of a common household item that you might also find in your home. A single mistake that almost took his life.
In 2010, Emmett had just celebrated his first birthday when he swallowed a nickel-sized, lithium battery from a DVD remote. The battery burned his esophagus and closed off his airway. Years later, and after 65 surgeries, Emmett is now on the soccer field. He is now eating and talking again. All thanks to the doctors who never gave up on him.
All of a sudden, this healthy and full of joy baby started becoming very sick. His parents noticed that it all started with a fever and coughing. And with a high fever and lethargy, his parents decided to take him to the hospital. They also noticed that he would cry every time he tries to eat.
His parents didn’t know at the time what was causing him to be so sick. As the newborn coughed up blood, the doctors rushed him to have an X-ray.
Talking with Today, his mother, Karla Rauch, shared, “They took an X-ray and when the radiologist came out, he said it was a button battery. He could even read the battery’s serial number. Emmett was rushed by ambulance to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. I remember running as I signed the consent form.”
This is a common type of battery that is mostly used in remote controls. The battery was lodged into the child’s esophagus burning it in the process. Because of the damage that the battery has done, Emmett could no longer breathe on his own. He has also lost all the functions in his vocal chords and won’t be able to talk.
He is also fed through a feeding tube since swallowing will not be possible due to the damage in that area. Emmett’s chances of living a normal life are slim to none.
For the next eight months, Emmett needed to stay at the hospital’s ICU. Karla further shared, “Emmett lived in the ICU for eight months in 2011, and there were times when we thought he would pass away. It was very humbling to watch him because he has this fighting spirit. He stole the hearts of all the nurses and doctors with his beautiful smile.”
But the baby is a fighter. Through it all, he survive, even after 65 surgeries that he needed to have over the course of five years. Surgeons rebuilt his esophagus using part of his colon and re-opened his paralyzed vocal chords.
Then in December 2014, he had his tracheostomy tube removed. And now, Emmett can finally breathe on his own!
Emmett’s fight to live turned his mother into having a goal of spreading awareness about the dangers of button, coin, and cell batteries. Each year, more than 3,500 kids are brought into emergency rooms due to similar situations, and 15 have died in the last six years after swallowing the tiny objects.
In homes, button batteries are now listed among on the top 10 items that parents should monitor to keep their kids safe. These injuries caused by swallowing these tiny items are preventable.