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March 02, 2021

Mother Shares Story of Daughter Who Died after Swallowing Button Battery to Warn Other Parents

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Trista Hamsmith from Lubbock, Texas, shared a story of how her daughter lost her life after swallowing a button battery to raise awareness. 

When Trista Hamsmith's daughter, Reese, started wheezing last October, she rushed to the pediatrician. The doctor reportedly suspected croup, so the pair went back home. But the relief was only temporary. 

Trista noticed a button battery missing from a remote control, and decided to take Reese to the local emergency room. Results showed that the 17-month-old swallowed the battery, which caused a hole in her esophagus.

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"Once the battery is ingested, it starts to erode, and it starts to burn. Button battery ingestion is so much more common than people realize," she explained.

Sadly, Reese never recovered from the incident. She passed away on December 17, 2020. The 39-year-old mom shared that after losing her daughter, she wanted to act by warning other parents.

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“This story needs to be told,” she said. It didn’t have to happen,” Hamsmith added. According to her, her daughter was a little star who commanded every room she was in.

"It's almost like she demanded applause," her mother said. "I'm not even kidding – she captivated the room," she added. It was one reason why she became weary when Reese became sluggish, congested, and wheezy.

When they arrived at the emergency room, the doctors did an X-ray and confirmed that the button was in there. They then performed emergency surgery to remove it.

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Following little Reese's death, her mom reportedly wrote on Facebook expressing her devastation after losing her, so, unfortunately. "We were a family member short," she wrote.

Hamsmith said that it is tragic that she would never be able to express herself. "I'll never forget looking out that window on a plane knowing my baby wasn't with me," she divulged. She described her baby girl as a spunky, outgoing, and sassy toddler.

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Reese was moved from UMC to the Texas Children's in Houston, where she died that morning. Her mom is a hairstylist, and her dad, Chris, owns and operates Hamsmith Motor Company.

The parents reportedly set up and GoFundMe to assist with travel and medical expenses. At the time, funeral and visitation arrangements were not disclosed.

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Pediatrician Jason Sherman listed some preventative measures to avoid kids having to swallow almost anything they find at their disposal. Dr. Sherman advised parents to keep away any hazardous things from young children.

Delicate items, gums, modeling clay small toy pieces reportedly usually make their way out. However, parents are advised to contact a doctor if they notice symptoms involving coughing, drooling, chest pain, gagging, trouble swallowing, and stomach pain.

Dangerous items include lithium and alkaline batteries, magnets, and coins. They all need a doctor's immediate attention and consist of similar symptoms mentioned above.

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