Schoolgirl has 7cm of her bowel cut out after swallowing 15 magnets in her sleep

A 10-year-old girl had an "extremely" lucky escape after accidentally swallowing 15 magnetic beads in her sleep.

Sadie Latham underwent a major operation after forgetting she still had the toys on her teeth as braces.

She had 7cm of her bowel removed and stitched together after the magnets fused and pierced her intestines.

Her mum Catherine, 44, told the Liverpool Echo that she was completely unaware of the problem until Sadie started complaining of stomach pains three weeks after swallowing the beads.

Catherine initially took it as trapped wind but ended up rushing her to A&E at Alder Hey Children's Hospital.

Medics who suspected she had appendicitis were stunned as an X-ray revealed Sadie had digested 15 of the tiny magnetic balls.

Catherine, of Kirby, Merseyside, said her daughter "could have died" without the op and warned other parents of her "extremely lucky escape".

She said she bought the magnetic balls from a third party seller on Amazon earlier this year.

They were marketed as "educational" toys that children can use to make patterns and shapes with.

Catherine told the ECHO: "People are buying them not knowing that they can be potentially fatal.

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"She had pain just to the right of her stomach, I thought she just had trapped wind or something."

Sadie underwent a series of tests at Alder Hey on October 2 followed by an X-ray the next day.

Catherine said: "I was in disbelief.

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"They cut 7cm of the bowel away and she had other bits stitched.

"It couldn't have gone better. She was extremely lucky.

"They said when she came out of the operation to expect a stoma bag but she didn't need to have that in the end."

She added: "What she's been doing is she's been in bed pretending to do braces on her teeth.

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"They're that strong that she's put one behind and one on the front of her tooth and it sticks.

"She fell asleep and hadn't realised she'd swallowed them.

"I said to her 'what about in the morning when you woke up?' But she's got a hundred of them in a tin so she hasn't realised.

"I was angry at her at first for doing something so silly but I'm just thankful that the operation went well.

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"I could have lost her. She could have chocked. She could have died."

Sadie has been left with a three inch scar on her stomach from the operation but is recovering well at home.

It is understood that Amazon is removing the items from sale.

An Amazon spokesperson said: “Safety is a top priority at Amazon.

"We require all products offered in our store to comply with applicable laws and regulations and have developed industry-leading tools to prevent unsafe or non-compliant products from being listed in our stores."

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