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Baby Girl Needs Prayer: Fighting for Life in PICU After Popular Children's Toy Ruptures Her Intestines

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Homes are full of potential hazards, most of which we grow accustomed to dealing with. Having children sets a new precedent, though, and all the everyday dangers we’ve learned to navigate as adults pose new threats to the new additions.

There are the big ones we’ve learned to watch out for: dressers and bookshelves need anchoring, breakables need to be moved to higher climes, and chemical-containing cabinets need to be outfitted with appropriate locks.

But there are smaller, less common dangers that are every bit as pernicious as the ones we know of. And one mother in Portland, Maine, has been dealing with the heartbreaking discovery of one such threat.

Folichia Mitchell is mother to four: Three boys and a 9-month-old baby girl named Kennedy Jane. In late October, little Kennedy Jane somehow got a hold of and ingested a water bead, and has been fighting for her life ever since.



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Water beads have risen in popularity over the last few years and offer a fun sensory experience when used by the appropriate age child with adult supervision.

They’re small, about the size of a pebble, made of gel and expand in water — which is exactly why it became such a dangerous item to ingest for baby Kennedy Jane. After she swallowed the bead, it expanded to half an inch, eventually ending up in her intestines and rupturing them.

The first sign something was wrong was when Kennedy Jane went off her food.

“She went two days without eating anything,” Mitchell told WMTW. “By the time we made it to Portland Hospital, she was not off the, off the stretcher before she started vomiting bile.”

Should this toy be removed from shelves?

“The bead blocked her small intestine, which made it swell so large it leaked into her body, and that caused sepsis and an infection. She’s had three surgeries this week. Her lungs were struggling, and her heart was struggling and her kidneys were struggling.”



A friend set up a GoFundMe for the family, to help as they navigate spending time in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit as well as caring for their three young sons.

Kennedy Jane is doing better, according to an update from Tuesday. She’s been in the hospital since Oct. 31 and is currently fighting several infections, is still dealing with a blood clot in her arm and is set for another surgery on Wednesday.

@fo_bby4 @displaynotplay #mykenny🤍 #waterbeadinjury #ineedallyourhelp #reportthem #spreadtheword #keeppraying #healingtiktok #warriorbaby #dangerous ♬ original sound – Folichia Mitchell
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Mitchell was not aware that such a simple toy could produce such devastating results. The package warns that the beads may be a choking hazard, but not that they could cause an intestinal blockage, so she’s asking for clearer labeling and warning parents that the gel beads might not be all the innocent fun they’re made out to be.

“Parents don’t have the chance to make an informed choice before buying,” she said. “If I had seen ‘toxic if ingested, can cause blockage,’ I never would have bought them and brought them into my house.”

“I just really hope people can think about my daughter in a positive way or pray for her so that she could make it through.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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