LUBBOCK, Texas (WJW) — A Texas mom is issuing a warning to other parents after her 17-month-old daughter died from swallowing a battery.
Trista Hamsmith recently shared her daughter Reese’s story on Instagram. According to the post, Reese swallowed a remote control battery last October. The tiny button battery reportedly burnt a hole in the toddler’s esophagus, ultimately resulting in her death in December.
Hamsmith says Reese first experienced wheezing, congestion and lethargy last October. Her pediatrician believed she had croup, as the symptoms are very similar, and gave her a steroid shot. The doctor told the family to return if Reese’s condition worsened.
After returning home, Hamsmith reportedly realized the battery was missing from their remote control and rushed her child to the emergency room.
The hospital conducted an x-ray which confirmed the battery was in Reese’s throat. She underwent emergency surgery to remove the object.
However, her condition continued to decline.
“There was a hole burned through her trachea and through her esophagus,” Hamsmith told People Magazine. “When that tunnel formed, it was allowing air to go where it didn’t need to be. Food and drinks also went where they didn’t need to go.”
Reese was readmitted to the hospital, according to her mother. She received a gastronomy tube, was placed on a ventilator, and underwent multiple surgeries, although none proved successful.
Reese passed away on December 17.
Now, Hamsmith is teaching others about the dangers of battery ingestion.
“Button battery ingestion is so much more common than people realize,” she told People. She also claims that in the past year, emergency room doctors have seen a 93% increase in button battery-related injuries among young children.
Hamsmith is calling on others to raise awareness about the dangers of batteries.
“Please continue to share the dangers of button batteries,” she wrote on Facebook. “Trust me when I say we are going to need every single one of your voices to help protect our children.”
Hamsmith has launched an organization called Reese’s Purpose which advocates for safer batteries. She also created a Change.org petition calling for a bill that establishes national standards “related to consumer products with button batteries.”