Riverton Boy Has Emergency Surgery After Swallowing Fidget Magnets

Nov 13, 2018, 12:04 PM | Updated: 2:59 pm

RIVERTON, Utah – A 6-year-old boy had to have emergency surgery after he accidentally swallowed fidget magnets, a toy that’s marketed for people with ADHD.

Aubrey Arvidson knew something was terribly wrong when her normally happy, energetic boy didn’t feel like going trick-or-treating.

“It was odd because he had been looking forward to wearing his costume,” she said. “But he didn’t feel really well. He was just sort of laying on the stairs.”

She and her husband suspected their son Mikah caught the 24-hour stomach bug that had been going around their neighborhood.

Blake, Mikah and Aubrey Arvidson at Primary Children's Hospital after an emergency surgery to remove fidget magnets from Mikah's intestines.

Blake, Mikah and Aubrey Arvidson at Primary Children’s Hospital after an emergency surgery to remove fidget magnets from Mikah’s intestines.

“He just was nauseous and had flu-like symptoms,” said Mikah’s father, Blake Arvidson. “We just thought, ‘This will go away in a day.’”

It didn’t. Mikah could not keep down food or water and lost the strength to walk.

“He was just laying on the bathroom floor vomiting every 20 minutes,” Aubrey Arvidson said. “The pain that was increasing in his abdomen was just a huge red flag for me. He just kept asking me to take away his pain, and I didn’t know what was going on.”

Mikah Arvidson had to have emergency surgery after he accidentally swallowed a handful of fidget magnets.

Mikah Arvidson had to have emergency surgery after he accidentally swallowed a handful of fidget magnets.

His parents took him to the Primary Children’s Hospital’s Emergency Room a few days later where doctors rushed to find out what was causing Mikah’s symptoms. They ran blood work, gave Mikah pain medication and did an X-ray.

“When they took an X-ray, they thought he had maybe a metal zipper or something in his pants because it was showing the magnets,” Aubrey Arvidson said. “We didn’t know he had swallowed them. He didn’t know he’d swallowed them.”

There they were: 14 magnets, each the size of a pin head, clumped together in his intestines and causing life-threatening injuries. Doctors rushed Mikah into an emergency surgery to remove them and to repair the damage.

“The surgeon said they perforated his intestines and there was bile everywhere,” Aubrey Arvidson said. “We were just like, ‘What?'”

Mikah eventually remembered how they got there. He told his parents he put the cube of magnets in his mouth to hide them from his brother. He accidentally swallowed some but didn’t think anything of it.

His family purchased the fidget magnets for their older son, who has ADHD.  It came in a pack of nearly 200 and was pink in color.

His parents hope others can learn from their experience.

“It was pretty shocking that something so small that looks so harmless could cause so much damage,” Blake Arvidson said.

Doctors said Mikah is still not in the clear. He was back in surgery Tuesday for the third time.

Family friends have set up a GoFundMe* account to help with medical bills.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

Fidget magnets, each the size of a pin head, had to be removed from Mikah Avridson's intestines.

Fidget magnets, each the size of a pin head, had to be removed from Mikah Avridson’s intestines.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

SportClips in Sugar House reopens after massive apartment fire

SportClips in Sugar House reopened for business Tuesday, 33 days after they were forced to close due to a massive fire that broke out at an under-construction apartment complex.
1 day ago
Charges against Linda Tracy Gillman were dismissed after the state was not ready to move forward wi...
Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com

Charges dropped for 75-year-old woman accused of hiring hit man

Linda Tracy Gillman is already in prison after being convicted of trying to hire a hit man to kill her ex-husband and was scheduled to be on trial for attempting to hire another person, to eliminate evidence and a witness in that case.
1 day ago
Jed Boal

Plow drivers needed, but UDOT says the storm itself was the source of delay

Was it staffing issues or the storm itself at the source of traffic troubles Monday night and Tuesday morning across the Wasatch Front?
1 day ago
Tamara Vaifanua

Festival of Trees showcases 11-year-old who persevered against the odds

Patient Champion of the Festival of the Trees celebrates an 11-year-old girl who lost her leg in an accident six years ago and is now defying the odds.
1 day ago
Beaver Mountain ready...
Mike Anderson

Cache Valley resorts cashing in on early start dates

Ski resorts in Cache Valley planned for some of their earliest start dates in about a decade thanks to our recent storms.
1 day ago
(Shelby Lofton/KSL TV)...
Shelby Lofton

Dispatchers get accidental 911 calls from skiers because of iPhone crash technology

Summit County dispatchers are seeing an uptick in accidental emergency calls from skiers. The new crash technology on iPhones is designed to detect severe car crashes, but it's often accidentally activated at ski resorts.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Riverton Boy Has Emergency Surgery After Swallowing Fidget Magnets