After 4 years and 65 surgeries, an Arizona boy who swallowed a button battery is finally able to talk and breathe on his own.
When Emmett Rauch, of Peoria, was 1-year-old, he swallowed the nickel-sized, lithium battery from a DVD remote, NBC Affiliate AZCentral reported. It burned his esophagus and closed off his airway after becoming lodged in his throat.
In one of the major surgeries Emmett, who is now 5, underwent to correct the damage, surgeons used half his stomach to recreate his esophagus, his mother Karla Rauch wrote in an article published on "Today." However, the “tissue was so damaged it didn’t hold up.”
But with additional surgeries and recovery, Emmett had his tracheostomy tube removed in December and now he is breathing on his own, AZCentral reported.
"I mean he can go and be a little boy and not have this thing sticking out of his neck," Karla Rauch told AZCentral. She also wrote that he "is relearning how to swallow and can almost eat a whole piece of pizza.”
Now, Emmett’s parents have made it her mission to spread awareness about the dangers of button, coin and cell batteries. They have helped start a campaign with Safe Kids and National Poison Control to support the cause.
“I am grateful that there is some sort of silver lining and that is helping to save other children from suffering and possibly losing their lives,” Karla wrote to “Today.”