Harrowing wait after toddler swallows $1 coin
FIVE days after returning from emergency surgery in Townsville, the Mackay toddler who swallowed a dollar coin is getting back to her smiling and energetic self.
The coin was lodged in three-year-old Bronte Hull's oesophagus last Monday and transport was arranged to Townsville, where she underwent emergency surgery to remove the obstruction.
"After we flew to Townsville, they took her straight to the kids' ward and told us that we had to keep her still until the surgery, which was nearly 30 hours," her mother Kate Hull said.
"She went in at 7pm, which was nearly a full 25 hours after we had got to hospital in Mackay."
Surgeons worked on pushing the coin into the child's stomach so they could remove it more easily.
"They had to push the money down into her stomach, then get the forceps down to get it back up out through her mouth," said Ms Hull, who urged parents to be vigilant. "We really would hate for another family to go through what we have."
Ms Hull said Bronte would be getting a bit of special treatment now. "We took her to the big toyshop in Townsville for being so good through this whole thing," she said.
Bronte is now recovering well, and her mum says nobody would even know she had been through such an ordeal, other than that she is still on medication and a soft food diet which, on doctor's orders, will continue for a few weeks.
Dr Andrew Giles, an emergency doctor at Mackay Base Hospital, said that events like this were not uncommon.
"It is normal behaviour for a small child to put something into their mouth and to eat it. That's why it's the job of adults to keep them safe," Dr Giles said.