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Swallowed Button Battery From Toy Burns Connecticut Toddler’s Esophagus

A mother and father in Connecticut are issuing a warning about button batteries in children’s toys after their 18-month-old swallowed one, leading to serious damage in the baby’s body.

Back in December, when Cameron was playing with his toys, mom Marisa Soto's instincts kicked in.

"He looked okay kind of, you could tell he was in discomfort and something was wrong but it look like he probably had a sore throat," she told KTLA sister station WTIC in Hartford.

Out of precaution, she took him to an emergency room down the street, and as the clock ticked, and what was wrong remained undiagnosed and his condition got worse.

He refused food, then foamed at the mouth and vomited. Marisa then begged for an X-ray.

It was then when doctors discovered a button battery in his esophagus. Cameron was rushed to Connecticut Children's Medical Center, where the battery was removed, but a lot of damage was already done.

Button batteries are particularly dangerous because they are small enough to swallow and not choke, but big enough to get stuck. A reaction with saliva in the digestive system is problematic: the battery discharges a current that creates a caustic injury to the tissue in the esophagus.

Doctors said the battery burned most of Cameron's esophagus, causing swelling from the bottom of his brain to the top of his heart, local newspaper the Hartford Courant reported.

For the best shot at healing, Cameron was intubated for 2 1/2 months. Over that time, the once thriving toddler lost the ability to eat, talk, crawl and walk.

His family members, who live outside Hartford in the town of Vernon, were by his bedside each day.

His dad, David Soto, said, "Just to keep fighting and we're here for you."

His mom Marisa said, "Every day, morning and night, would pray with our other two kids. Whenever we would get bad news, got good news, it was just keeping the faith and not giving up. Literally putting it in God's hands."

In months, Cameron learned how to walk and eat again. He still wears a trach to assist with the breathing, and doctors said only time will tell whether that will be permanent.

Marisa said they shared their story to raise awareness.

"It's so hard to keep reliving the same moment but it's like super dangerous. If we had known, we would've never have had any toys that have those batteries in our house," she said.