An Lower Mainland man is warning people to throw out their old barbecue brushes after spending a painful B.C. Day long weekend with a piece of wire lodged in his tonsil.
Jordan Daniels, a producer of the morning show at KiSS RADiO, was at a friend’s barbecue last Saturday night, where he bit into a burger that had a bristle in it. He said he immediately felt a sharp, stabbing pain in his throat.
“I instantly ran to the bathroom and was spitting up blood,” the Aldergrove man said. “I knew it was a metal bristle from the barbecue brush. I could feel it, and I had just read something about it the other day.”
What followed was a nightmare of misdiagnosis and being treated to feel as though he was making the whole thing up.
“By Sunday evening, the pain was still there, so I went to the ER at Langley Memorial.”
There he had X-rays done.
“I was at the hospital for five hours. Once the doctor came and saw me, he told me I had heartburn and that I needed to take antacids. The doctor also said there was no metal showing in the X-rays,” Daniels said.
“I was mad when I left Langley hospital because I knew there was something still in my throat.”
So he went to Surrey, where the ER was even busier.
“It was a gong show. I waited in the ER for five hours.”
By then it was 5 a.m. He gave up and went home to sleep.
He woke after two hours and headed to a walk-in clinic in Cloverdale, still in pain. There was no wait there, but the doctor who saw him said if the X-rays from Langley showed nothing then it had likely dislodged and the pain was an after-effect.
“I told him that something was stabbing my throat and that I could feel it with my finger. He took a look and said nothing was there.”
He decided to try his luck at a walk-in clinic in Langley.
He claims he was treated even worse there and sent away, but not before he was given what he described as disturbing advice.
“She told me I should try and eat food to dislodge it if it was, in fact, still stuck on my tonsil. I thought, ‘Are you crazy?’ I was already starving myself. Imagine what damage a piece of wire could do to your insides?”
That has been the case for several Canadians who have had to have invasive surgery as a result of ingesting wire from a barbecue brush, including one Victoria woman who had to have a portion of her small intestine removed.
Daniels went to see his mom and asked her to feel inside his throat.
“She felt the metal and told me I needed to get it removed ASAP,” he said.
That’s when Daniels went to Abbotsford Hospital.
“Dr. Nickel and nurse Sarb both looked and saw the metal in my mouth. I was given a numbing agent and in a matter of just two minutes the metal brush bristle was removed,” he said.
Daniels kept the bristle, which is around an inch long. He is now warning others to not use metal barbecue brushes. He also wonders what kind of damage could have been done to his insides had he swallowed the wire.
In the meantime, his co-workers are trying to get #bristleboy trending on social media, he said.
“Now I can laugh, but at the time it wasn’t a laughing matter.”
Health Canada is assessing the risks of wire-bristle brushes after nine similar injuries with the wires have been reported across Canada.
The results of that assessment are expected by the end of August and may include recall notices for certain brushes.