The family was making burgers on their grill when events suddenly went in an unexpected direction.
Son Anthony, only six, began to eat a burger his mom had made. In only a few moments, he became intensely ill.
His mother sped with Anthony to the ER, only to hear shocking news about what was really in his tummy.
She’s raising the alarm for other dads and moms so what happened to her family never takes place again.
“It felt like a needle,” Anthony reported to CBC.
As soon as Anthony felt sick, his mother Nadia raced him to their local ER. There, medical professionals realized he’d ingested a sharp wire which had come off his family’s metal grill brush.
These can often be found in homes everywhere, being used to remove grease and food from BBQ grills. Most homes that have a BBQ will likely have one of these.
“Knew something was wrong”
“We knew something was wrong, and he was in extreme pain, because he was crying,” Nadia reported. “From the time we had dinner to the time we had surgery, it was about 12 hours later, because our journey started at the local hospital, and then we were transported to Sick Kids.”
Their initial hospital stop proved fruitless—doctors didn’t have any means of getting the sharp, hazardous wire out of Neo’s throat.
Only when they finally got to the Children’s Hospital could experts dislodge and extract the wire. This required advanced techniques.
He wasn’t out of the woods yet—Anthony then had to be protected against bacterial infection from the offending wire bristle.
Reportedly, the doctors had come across this kind of issue before, says CBC.
Numerous others before Neo had sought emergency medical help to take BBQ grill brush wires out of similar regions.
“About a year ago, I had a patient who almost died from it,” Dr Benbrahim reported. “He had [eaten] a bristle from a grill brush and he was sick for two weeks.”
A staff member from Barbecue World, Mr Dixon, stresses the importance of getting a new brush the moment yours begins to wear out.
You should also aim for grill brushes where wires are fixed to a metal piece, instead of a plastic or wooden plate. They tend to be safer.
Dixon also says that this type of issue has been ever since BBQ brushes with metal wires have existed.
Here’s an alternative
It’s possible to avoid metal BBQ grill brushes completely.
You can also clean the surface of your grill by starting the BBQ and allowing the build-up to burn off. Or, you could use an uncooked potato to wipe down the cooking surface. A third option is to take aluminium foil to the surface to remove grime.
Nadia, Anthony’s mom, stated her reason for wanting to publicize their family’s story—to tell others how dangerous BBQ brushes can be. She doesn’t want anyone to go through the same experience as they did.
“I hope to have these brushes removed from the shelves, have them banned,” Nadia shared.
Since that day, Anthony’s family has avoided BBQs. Mom Nadia reports her son still has a fear of consuming anything that’s been on the grill.