5-year-old Celeste Gravenmeier was left with a huge hole in her throat after she fell on her toothbrush while playing in her bedroom.
The toothbrush that was still in her mouth when she fell off the bed punctured an inch-wide hole in her throat.
Her dad, Mitchell Gravenmeier, rushed her to a hospital where she had two hours of surgery.
Celeste is now recovering but she may have speech problems in the future.
Mr. Gravenmeier said the incident occurred while he was putting Celeste and her 2-year-old brother Matthew to bed.
The 27-year-old dad told his kids to stop jumping around while cleaning their teeth. When he turned to talk to his wife, 25-year-old Victoria, Celeste fell off the bed and screamed as blood poured from her mouth.
Her dad checked inside and found a ‘very large’ hole and rushed her daughter to ER.
“Everyone is told not to run around with things in their mouth, but they don’t see what the result of it [can be],” Mr. Gravenmeier said.
“This is something that could happen to any child so quickly.
“Celeste was sitting on her bed bouncing up and down and I kept telling her to stop. The kids brush their teeth sitting there as it keeps them from running around.
“I’d turned around for a second to talk to my wife and when I turned back around, Celeste was falling forward.”
He continued: “She stood up screaming and I looked in her mouth and could see there was a bit of blood around it.
“At first I didn’t realise that she’d actually poked a hole in the back of her mouth, in her throat. I thought she might have hurt her gums or bit her lip, but after I got the flashlight, I discovered a very large hole in the back of her mouth. It was close to an inch.
“We’re just glad it didn’t go down her throat. They said if it was any further to the sides, it could have severed a blood vessel and caused more significant bleeding.”
Fortunately, a CT scan showed that none of her arteries or blood vessels had been damaged but she still needed emergency surgery.
“I was very nervous. The surgery took about two and a half hours while they closed the wound. It’s a tricky place to reach,” he expressed. “At just five years old, this is the first time she’s been in hospital.”
Celeste is now recovering at home and on a strict liquid and soft food diet for the next two weeks.
“She’s very nervous now about brushing her teeth. She’s a little scared about it. She damaged her palate towards the very back of her mouth, in the throat area, and the area of the injury is what you use to make certain sounds,” Mr. Gravenmeier said.
“At the moment her speech seems fine, but the doctors did tell us problems may come a little later.
“She’s still young so has trouble pronouncing certain words anyway, but we may notice in the future that she might have issues making certain sounds.”
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