Childrens Health

‘Told it was Asthma’ – Parents Discover Real Reason for Son’s Cough

Ever since he was two years old, Marley has struggled with a persistent cough and trouble breathing. He experienced a pretty bad cold as a toddler and doctors diagnosed him with asthma.

For years, Marley, who lives in Adelaide, carried a puffer with him, using it when he felt out of breath. However, it did little to help him.

Had a feeling it was not asthma

As Marley grew older, he decided that he wanted to give sports a crack – football and basketball. However, he struggled to breathe during the games and could rarely finish a game. He also started to vomit whenever he ate.

“We really wanted an answer. We had a feeling it was not asthma,” Marley’s dad, Jay told Today. 

Marley’s parents pushed the doctors to investigate the cause further, leading to Marley being flown to the Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital. Doctors then discovered the cause of Marley’s cough and breathing difficulties was not asthma at all.

The young boy had a plastic arts and crafts flower lodged in his throat, which had been there since Marley was a toddler!

toy lodged in child's throat for five years
The plastic flower found in Marley’s throat. Source: Today

Jay said that he knew something wasn’t right with his son’s initial diagnosis and is so grateful to the doctors for listening to his concerns.

We wouldn’t have done it without the hospital, but sometimes you’ve just got to push that little bit more,” he said.

Marley is now looking forward to seeing what he can achieve without struggling to breathe. Jay has also urged other parents to listen to their instincts when it comes to their children.

Toddler swallows 22 magnetic beads

This isn’t the first story we’ve shared where a toddler has swallowed something and ‘forgot’ to mention it to their parents.

In April, two-year-old Franklin woke up with a sore tummy. He didn’t improve after a few days so doctors performed keyhole surgery where they uncovered 22 colourful magnetic beads in Franklin’s small intestine and bowel.

Some were found scattered in a snake-like formation around his digestive tract.

magnetic toy warning

For three weeks, these magnetic balls had been inside Franklin’s body. As they made their way through Franklin’s digestive system, the magnetic force had pulled them together through the walls of his organs, corroding two holes in his small intestine.

Thankfully, Franklin is fully recovered from this ordeal!

Magnetic ball warning

In 2020, sisters Imogen and Heidi both got into a toy they shouldn’t have and swallowed several magnetic balls. Luckily their mother took the girls to the ER and X-rays confirmed the girls had swallowed the balls. Imogen managed to swallow 32 of them while Heidi swallowed 2 of them.

The girls underwent emergency surgery at Victoria’s Monash Children’s Hospital to extract the magnets before they damaged their insides completely. Thankfully, they are both okay now.

Bunchem hair hell 

Another hair-raising story involves Bunchems, a popular kids’ toy that kind of resembles a toy bur.

Abigail didn’t swallow the Buchems, but her little brother did dump an entire container of them over her head, resulting in over 150 of them getting stuck in her hair.

Bunchems hair hell

Countless tears, a container of Mineral Oil, and 20 hours later, Abi’s mum finally removed the last Bunchem from her daughter’s hair before binning the damned things.

What should parents do if their toddler swallows something they shouldn’t 

According to the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, if parents suspect a child has swallowed a magnet or anything else harmful, they shouldn’t induce vomiting.

Instead, call TRIPLE ZERO for an ambulance or report to their nearest hospital emergency department immediately. 

What to read next

Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.


  1. Avatar of P

    Mine has asthma and now a teen when a specialist now discovered she has enlarged adenoids which could’ve been discovered before had the g.p referred before.

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