South Bend toddler recovering after swallowing 19 magnets

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 5:21 PM EDT
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Ind. (WNDU) - A South Bend toddler is recovering from emergency surgery after swallowing 19 magnetic balls that came from his sibling’s toy.

It’s the second story of its kind in the past week after a Florida toddler swallowed the same toy pieces. Tonight, Daniel Diaz and his wife Kymberlee of South Bend are sharing their story to prevent this terrifying situation for another family.

Veteran Daniel Diaz says, “Never in a million years would you think that something this simple could happen to your child, but then it happens. Personally, being overseas was easier than having to deal with this.”

Last Saturday, the family knew something was wrong with 17-month-old Emmett.

Kymberlee said, “He was super lethargic, he did not want to play and he was vomiting. He was really in so much discomfort and it just gradually got worse.”

They rushed him to the ER at Beacon for what they thought was a stomach bug, but it turned out to be 19 magnetic balls. They’re marketed as a “stress relieving toy” for kids.

Kymberlee says, “The magnets were actually in his intestines so they could not get to them at Beacon, so they flew us down to Riley and he had emergency surgery when he got here.”

Thankfully, Emmett is doing better today but he’s still recovering at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

Kymberlee says, “He still has a tube that keeps the pressure down on his tummy and we are hoping we can get his bowels to kind of wake up and process things and get back to moving things through like they are supposed to.”

Their message to other parents?

“If you are going to let your kids have the toy, just know that little ones get into everything,” Kymberlee said.

The family is hoping that Emmett will be released from Riley next week.

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