A mom says her 13-year-old daughter had to undergo major abdominal surgery after trying out a dangerous social media trend.
Faye Elizabeth, 33, who lives in Rainhill, U.K., says her daughter swallowed 15 magnetic beads while following a new “fake piercing” challenge on TikTok. As part of the trend, kids pretend to have mouth piercings by placing magnetic beads on the top and bottom of their tongue, or on the inside and outside of their cheek.
Elizabeth’s daughter, whose name she would like to keep private to protect her from online trolls, initially went to the hospital on May 22 with bad stomach cramps, and doctors thought it might be appendicitis or food poisoning.
But when the teen started “vomiting black water,” doctors ordered a scan of her stomach.
“She got an X-ray and you could see the magnetic beads inside,” Elizabeth told TODAY.
Her daughter was rushed to another hospital for emergency surgery.
“She’s got part of her bowel removed … it was like two segments of it, so they had to re-stitch it back,” Elizabeth explained. “They also found magnets inside her appendix, so they had to remove her appendix as well. She’s now left with just over a 6-inch scar down her stomach.”
Elizabeth says her daughter did not swallow all 15 magnets at once, but accidentally ingested them on multiple occasions as she tried out the TikTok trend. She added that the magnets caused her daughter severe pain.
“The magnets are all trying to stick together, so you can imagine the pain going on in the inside, with them all trying to pull and stick together,” she said.
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The teen is still in the hospital as of May 28, and her mom says recovery is expected to be a slow process.
“She can’t eat or drink. She’s getting her nutrients and stuff through a drip,” said Elizabeth. “She’s going through a lot of pain at the minute.”
Her daughter is the latest child to fall victim to the “fake piercing” trend. An 11-year-old boy in Worcester, U.K., was also recently hospitalized after swallowing magnetic beads, the Worcester News reported.
Elizabeth says she had not been aware of the TikTok trend until after her daughter was hospitalized, and has since learned how widespread it is where she lives.
“A lot of other kids in the area, schools, are actually doing it as well,” she said. “I’ve got a little niece and she said loads of girls in her class have been doing the same thing. It’s a trend that all the kids are doing.”
She also begged other parents to throw away their kids’ magnetic beads.
“Just bin them. Don’t buy them. It’s not worth it,” she said. “The pain that I’ve seen my daughter go through, it’s horrific.”