8-year-old Shantay Small from Georgia was left traumatized last week after her tongue got stuck in a water bottle she was drinking from.
It took doctors more than eight hours and emergency surgery to remove it. Now, her mother is warning other parents to be very careful so the same thing doesn’t happen to their child.
Shantay Small says she bought the same water bottle for all three of her kids, and they all use it all the time. But last week, her 8-year-old daughter Jayla got her tongue stuck in her bottle, and she couldn’t get it off.
Jayla was at cheerleading practice on September 13 when it happened, and her mother says the coaches tried to help her get it off, and when they couldn’t, they called 911.
Even paramedics couldn’t free her tongue from the bottle, so she was rushed to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.
Once she got there, Small said doctors were left baffled. They tried to work on her, punching holes in the can and even calling in maintenance to cut the bottom of the bottle off.
But by that time, her tongue had become very swollen inside the container, and the bottle had drifted so far back in her mouth that it was almost at her wisdom teeth. She was let gagging.
That’s when they took her into surgery.
With Jayla under anesthesia, it took doctors about an hour in the operating room to free her tongue from the bottle.
Now, Jayla is on antibiotics and has to use antiseptic mouthwash and sprays to help with the swelling. Her mother says doctors have told them she will likely need speech therapy because of possible nerve damage she may have suffered.
The entire incident has been very traumatizing for Jayla. She can’t drink from a straw, and her food has to be pureed. She says she’ll avoid these kinds of bottles, at least for the time being.
Meanwhile, Jayla’s mother has a warning for parents everywhere who might have bought the same bottles for their kids.
“I would tell parents if they have them, discard them,” Small said. “Don’t let your young children drink from them if they don’t know how to use them.”
Small says the water bottle was metal with a small opening, but the specific brand of the bottle is not know.
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