Amie Raney had just walked into the nail salon when she got the phone call from the babysitter that every parent dreads. Amie’s 10-year-old son, Lucas, needed emergency help. He had been tapping a quarter on his tooth while watching TV, and he accidentally swallowed it. The quarter was stuck in his airway.
Paramedics rushed Lucas to the closest hospital where pain medication relaxed him enough for the quarter to slide down to his stomach. At that point, it was a waiting game to see if the coin would make its way out on its own. After nearly two weeks, the quarter was still in Lucas’ stomach.
When it came time to surgically remove the quarter, Amie and her husband, Lanny, took their son to Children’s, a place he knew well. Seven years ago, Lucas was diagnosed with leukemia at the hospital and underwent three years of treatment in the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders there.
Dr. Ashish Patel, GI specialist at Children’s, removed the quarter with a tool called the coin grasper and placed it in a container for Lucas to keep.
“Most of the time parents think their child has swallowed a quarter or a silver dollar, and coins all look the same in X-rays,” Dr. Patel said. “I go in expecting to find all this money, and I come out with pennies. This time they were right.”