KYLIE Devine always taught her five-year-old son, Cameron, about the importance of keeping a money box, but she didn’t say anything about becoming one.
In a freak accident just days before Christmas, the Boggabri boy was playing with a $1 coin in the loungeroom of his family home when he put it in his mouth and started choking. His father, Jeremy Valks, tried to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre and when that failed, reached down his son’s throat and tried to grab the coin.
He managed to clasp it in his fingers for a split-second and then felt it turn and drop.
Fearing the worst, the panicked parents rushed Cameron to Gunnedah hospital, where an x-ray showed the coin had passed through the oesophagus and into his stomach.
Doctors told the family to return in three days if it hadn’t “passed naturally”.
“It was pretty scary, we didn’t know whether he would get a bowel obstruction or something else,” Ms Devine said.
For the next three days, Ms Devine used a plastic fork to fish for the elusive coin in her son’s potty.
But the stubborn coin refused to move and the family was warned if it didn’t pass by the new year, it would have to be surgically removed.
Thankfully, their Christmas prayers were answered when the coin passed painlessly on December 27.
“It was just such a huge relief,” Ms Devine said.
“When it happened, Cam jumped up and down and screamed ‘I knew I’d poo it out’.”
In fact, Cameron seemed blissfully unaware to the danger lurking inside his stomach.
“He kept calling himself the boy money box,” Ms Devine said.
“I even caught his brother scanning Cam’s stomach with a metal detector to see if they could detect the coin.”