LOCAL NEWS

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.

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Riverton Boy Has Emergency Surgery After Swallowing Fidget Magnets