Human curiosity has been at the core of many breakthroughs throughout history, but its outcome isn’t always positive. The the case of this 12-year-old boy who swallowed dozens of magnetic balls, just to see if metal would stick to his stomach.

Rhiley Morrison, and English schoolboy from Greater Manchester, had to undergo life-saving surgery after deliberately swallowing 54 magnets as part of a dumb experiment. The wannabe Magneto ingested the magnets he had received for Christmas to see if metal objects would stick to his stomach, and also what the metallic balls would look like when he passed them. Unfortunately, things didn’t go according to plan, and after days went by without him passing a single magnet, he finally told his mom.

The 12-year-old, who reportedly suffers from ADHD, actually woke his mother, Paige, at 2 in the morning on January 5th, to tell her that he accidentally swallowed two magnets a few days back, and that they had still not passed through his system. That very same night, the concerned mother took him to Salford Royal Hospital, where an X-ray revealed that Rhiley had more than two magnets inside of him.

“The doctors guessed around 25- 30 from the x-ray, but when he came out of surgery they said they got 54,” Rhiley’s mother said. “I think what made it harder is that I just didn’t understand how or why he would swallow that many.”

The 12-year-old, who apparently loves experiments, eventually told his mother and the doctors at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, where he had his surgery, that he had swallowed the magnets to see if a copper plate would stick to his stomach, and also how the balls would look after coming out the other end.

Unfortunately for Rhiley, his experiment had some nasty consequence. He had to spend 10 days unable to move and vomiting green liquid caused by his bowel leaking. He also couldn’t move, go to the toilet, was fed through a tube and had a catheter inserted.

“It was heartbreaking watching him go through all that, just horrible,” Rhiley’s mother said. “I think it’s especially difficult because of Covid because he couldn’t have any visitors. I remember thinking, I can’t believe all this is happening because of magnets.”

On January 21, Rhiley was discharged and put on antibiotics for a week, to prevent infections. His mother is now sharing his story to make sure that no other child goes through the same kind of ordeal.

“They could have clashed and ripped his bowel and he could have ended up with sepsis,” Paige, 30, said. “Rhiley was lucky but some kids aren’t and won’t be. I’m not sure why he told me, he wasn’t in any pain, I just thank god he did.”

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