A Mercer county boy survived after he swallowed a metal bristle from a grill brush. His mom was so scared, she reached out to Target 11. Consumer Investigator Robin Taylor uncovered a grilling danger you probably have not thought of.
A tiny piece of metal, about an inch long, had broken off of the grill brush and cooked into the food. When a Grove City boy ate his hamburger, the wire got stuck in his throat.
At first, doctors thought it was something minor, but when they saw the X-ray, they rushed Brandon Dagres to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
"It felt like somebody was like, poking me in the throat with something," said Brandon.
The pain was intense, like no sore throat the 14-year-old boy had ever had.
"They asked me how bad it hurt, like on a scale from 1-10, and it was like a 9," said Brandon.
Brandon showed me the X-ray where you could see the metal fragment lodged in his throat. By the time they ate dinner that night, it was dark, and he never noticed anything out of the ordinary in his food.
His mother had just cleaned the grill with an old wire brush. A bristle had broken off and had cooked into his hamburger, and the wire threatened his voice box.
Dr. David Chi, an ear, nose and throat surgeon at Children's Hospital operated on Brandon.
"These bristles are fairly sharp and may penetrate into other parts of the body; may penetrate the esophagus," said Chi.
Although cases like this are unusual, doctors are seeing more of them, and they want people to know the tiny, sharp wires can cause life-threatening injuries.
"Families have to be aware and look at their bristles to make sure there are no loose bristles on their brush," said Chi.
Brandon was lucky. There was no permanent damage to his throat or voice box, and he's back to being a kid again.
His mother, Mandy Dagres, says Brandon won't eat hamburgers now unless they're cooked on aluminum foil.
"I just thought with all the people grilling now, they need to know something like this. It could have turned out a lot worse than it did," said Mandy Dagres.
Before you fire up the grill, take a close look at it. If you see tiny wires at the bottom, it's time to get a new grill brush.
After you're done scrubbing the grill, doctors say to take the time to wipe the grill down. That alone will help eliminate the risk of swallowing a very sharp and dangerous piece of metal.