A science-crazed 12-year-old British boy had to undergo a six-hour lifesaving surgery — after swallowing 54 magnets as an “experiment,” according to his mom.
Rhiley Morrison, from Manchester, ate the small magnetic balls to see if metal objects would stick to his stomach and to see how they looked when he pooped them out, DailyMail.com said.
He told mom Paige Ward, 30, when they failed to emerge four days later — and she rushed him to a hospital for the lengthy keyhole surgery.
Ward said she was “just speechless” when doctors told her they had removed 54 magnets, twice the number they had expected from pre-surgery X-rays.
The schoolboy then spent 10 days vomiting green liquid caused by his bowels leaking, which led to him being tube-fed and having a catheter inserted as he recovered in Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, his mom said.
“The surgeon said that if Rhiley didn’t tell me that day he’d swallowed the magnets, he could have died,” she told the UK paper.
“It was heartbreaking watching him go through all that, just horrible,” she said, noting it was “especially difficult” because her son could not have visitors because of COVID-19 restrictions.
“I remember thinking, ‘I can’t believe all this is happening because of magnets.’”
The youngster — who has autism and ADHD — swallowed the magnets because he is “massively into science” and “loves experiments,” his mom said.
His mom, who also has three younger children, has since removed magnets from her home and is using her “really traumatic lesson” to highlight the dangers for other parents.
“When he did it, I thought it was just him, he’s just been silly and done it, but the surgeon said they see this all the time,” she told the Mail.
“Rhiley was lucky but some kids aren’t and won’t be,” she warned.