Erie child who swallowed fidget spinner battery recovering in Pittsburgh hospital
An Erie boy continues to fight for his life after an accident with a toy battery. Today, his mom shared his story with Erie News Now Brittany Lauffer in the hopes that it will prevent another family from experiencing a similar situation.
"His birthday was October 30th, he was going to be five, but I didn't know if he was going to make it until his fifth birthday," said Tara Stonestreet.
Cody Stonestreet has spent his first few weeks of being five years old at the Children's Home and Lemieux Family Center in Pittsburgh, fighting for his life after he swallowed a lithium battery that was inside a fidget spinner from a Halloween gift bag.
"He had two plastic discs in his hand, one on this side, and one on this side, and he said 'I swallowed it,' and 'I said, you swallowed what?'" said Tara.
Cody had swallowed the entire circuit board, with the battery and lights, about the size of a nickel.
Cody, who has a mild case of autism, is known to put things in his mouth. Luckily, his eight-year-old sister had seen him playing with it and knew what he had swallowed.
His symptoms included pain, raspy voice, and vomiting blood. Other symptoms can include food refusal, difficulty swallowing, and a fever.
"He did have a burn in his esophagus, and the decision was made to not let him eat by mouth, and to put a tube down his nose into his stomach, and feed him that way," explained Amy Donaldson, Cody's Nurse Practitioner.
Since the accident, Cody has endured several surgeries, part of a collapsed lung, a medically induced coma, and pneumonia from his breathing machine.
Donaldson explained that once a lithium battery touches saliva, it activates the battery and turns the acidic atmosphere of the area it's in, into an alkaline state.
After spending nearly a month in the hospital, Cody still has a few weeks left of recovery, but even so, his case is considered mild.
"It must have happened for some reason, maybe it's just to help save others," said Tara.
Cody's case was mild, thanks to his family's quick response. If the battery would have been left longer, it could have led to more surgeries as he got older, or even death.
But as Tara said, they are very lucky. Cody's wound is healing, and he should be going home soon.
For now, Cody will take things one day at a time, starting with his first meal, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
For more information on battery safety tips: