Little boy needed open heart surgery after inhaling popcorn kernel

A student suffered a collapsed lung and had to undergo open heart surgery – after choking on a piece of POPCORN.

Two-year-old Jordy Gordon was in the process of snacking when he choked on a core and unwittingly inhaled, clogging his airways.

His mother took him to the hospital when he couldn’t stop coughing and mistakenly suspected that he had a chest infection.

Scans showed that one lung had completely collapsed thanks to a tiny piece of popcorn and that he was being held for treatment.

However, a follow-up scan to check his lung function revealed that he had a potentially fatal heart condition where his pulmonary veins were in the wrong place.

Jordy was not getting enough oxygen and could “drop dead” at any moment without open-heart surgery, doctors warned.

He had 12 hours of surgery to reposition the veins – and is now perfectly healthy.

His mother, Shona Macgillivray, 35, fears that the heart condition would never have been discovered if Jordy hadn’t inhaled the snack.

The practitioner from Fort William, Scotland, said in the early years, “I now view this popcorn as both a blessing and a curse as it showed us what was going on.”

Jordy was only two years old enjoying popcorn before mother of two Shona went to work on February 25, 2015.

She said, “I left him with my mother who took care of him and told me he was a little breasted that day, but when I got home I didn’t think anything about it.”

The next day, Jordy was still coughing, so Shona took him to the doctors, who assured her it was probably just a chest infection, she said.

But around 11 p.m. that night, Jordy’s cough got worse and worse and she took him to A&E at Belford Hospital in Fort William.

She said, “They monitored his oxygen levels and found it was very low. They gave him a few puffs of the brown inhaler, but that didn’t help, so they put him on a breathing apparatus.”

He was rushed to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, driven by Shona with her partner Michael Gordon, 34, and they arrived around 2am.

Shona said, “The doctor happened to ask us if he had eaten popcorn and I said he had the day before.

“He must have seen something like this before – my friends always tag me in stories about kids choking on pieces of popcorn.”

Little boy needed open heart surgery after inhaling popcorn kernel 1

Jordy eventually coughed the core and a scan showed that one of his lungs had completely collapsed.

He was taken to Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow, where his lungs were re-inflated, his oxygen levels recovered, and he was allowed to go home a few days later.

Six months later, a routine x-ray showed abnormalities, and he was sent for an MRI, EKG, and ultrasound.

In January 2016, he was diagnosed with Scimitar Syndrome – an underlying heart condition where his pulmonary veins are in the wrong place.

Shona said, “We spoke to the doctors who told us that a lot of things can go wrong during surgery, but if he didn’t, he could eventually drop dead, maybe in his late teens or early twenties.”

Doctors said there was a chance he might not survive the surgery or be handicapped by the surgery, but he went under the knife in July 2016.

During the 12-hour operation at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, doctors cut through his chest to reposition his pulmonary veins.

Shona said, “It was the worst day of my life.

“It was horrible – I went in, burst into tears, and then went back out.

“It was like he was in a coma and didn’t really know what was going on.”

Six days after being accepted for his surgery, Jordy came to see his mother, father and older brother Rhys, now 10 years old, after a full recovery.

Shona said, “He’s back to normal and can do anything a normal child can do.

“Before his surgery and before we knew something was wrong, Jordy slept for three hours each afternoon.

“I thought it was just who he was, but now we know he just didn’t get enough oxygen in his blood.”

Seven year old Jordy loves to show off all of his impressive scars from his surgery and needs to be scanned every few years.


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