When Chioma Nwafor told her husband their four-year-old vomited a balloon, he did not believe her.
The four-year-old, Jayden, has now “vomited and stooled several balloons — a total of 25 balloons so far, swallowed on 26 May 2023,” a report from a hospital seen by PREMIUM TIMES on Friday confirmed.
How it happened
Mrs Nwafor said her children’s school — Kids Glory, based in the Ago area of Lagos – celebrated Children’s Day on 26 May (Friday) and tagged it Colour Day.
The mother of three said that each of them had a unique balloon colour in their classes for the celebration.
For the toddler, blue colour was used in his class, the mother said. Mrs Nwafor said she was reluctant to bring her children for the Colour Day event but was persuaded by a teacher.
“The next day (Saturday), we went for rehearsal in church, my son wanted to stool, then he stooled balloons, a big pink balloon,” she recounted.
“I was not with my phone to capture it. I told my husband about it. He was doubting me that it is not possible for a child to swallow a big balloon. He said it could be pieces. I didn’t push it further because I was the only one that saw it.
“Within that week, on Sunday (June 4), he wasn’t eating. I spanked him and forced him to eat rice. After the first spoon I gave him, he vomited a yellow balloon. After that, he vomited a pink one. That was when I was shocked and told my husband that there was a problem.”
She said that it was late in the night, and the following morning, she took him to a hospital in the Ago area of Lagos.
“In the hospital, I told them they are balloons in his system, but they didn’t believe me. I told them that he vomited and stooled balloons, but they still didn’t believe me. I showed them pictures. They said, ‘Madam, if there are balloons in his system, he will choke.”
She narrated that an ultrasound was carried out, but it didn’t reveal anything, yet she refused to leave the hospital.
Mrs Nwafor said that at that time, Jayden’s tummy had swollen.
“There, he vomited balloons. Patients and the doctors saw it, and that was when they took me seriously. When I took him to the toilet, he pooped a lot of balloons, pink, orange, purple, baby pink and others, those long ones,” she said.
“That was when the hospital decided to admit him, but they said that they couldn’t operate on him because the ultrasound did not show that the balloons were still there.”
Mrs Nwafor said that her husband joined her in the hospital, and they took their son home, where he again vomited balloons.
She said that they informed the head teacher and sent the pictures and video of the balloons.
“She (head teacher) said she will get back to me but didn’t. The teachers I sent it to were checking if the colours were from their own classes but didn’t get back to me,” Mrs Nwafor said.
Mrs Nwafor further said that the move by the school angered her and pushed her to post the videos on the WhatsApp group, but the group ‘admin’ was quick to delete it.
She said it was at that moment she got their feedback.
“They called me and said that they are coming to my house to resolve it. They came to the house with a cleaner and two other people. My husband was asking them where the teacher was, but they said she couldn’t make it because her house was far away,” she said.
“But my husband said that they can’t discuss it in the absence of the teacher. While they were there, my son pooped balloons again. As we were trying to take him to the hospital, he vomited balloons in the car.”
The school management would later via WhatsApp invite the parents to the school.
“In reference to the incident you brought to our attention on Monday, June 5th, 2023, regarding Jayden, we have done our findings and would like to discuss the outcome with you,” a part of the message reads.
At the meeting with the school, Mrs Nwafor claimed the school management said that they had reviewed the videos she sent and did not find any blue balloons there.
“They said his own class used blue balloons, and he didn’t vomit blue balloons. Meanwhile, there are other classes not too far from theirs (upstairs). They said that the other balloons are not within the reach of his class. They also said that parents can be careless.
“My children confirmed that they were using their legs to burst balloons even with other children in school. But the teachers insisted that there were no balloons aside from the colour blue downstairs where Jayden’s class was.”
Many calls and text messages to the principal officers of the school were unanswered since Friday.
For instance, the head teacher, Debra King’s contact was unreachable, while the school coordinator, identified as Mr Samuel, did not respond.
However, Jayden’s class teacher, identified as Mrs Oladele, said that “the matter has been settled by the school management.”
She urged this reporter to visit the school for more details.
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