Parents Share Warning After Their Son Was Admitted Into Surgery Because Of Popcorn


Most of us have wonderful memories from our childhood and in many cases, it involves movie night. As you are about to see, however, even something as innocent as movie night can turn into tragedy.

A family movie was always part of the weekend routine for Nicole and Jake Goddard. They would gather their family together, pop a big bowl of popcorn and settle in for a flick.

This week, the movie of choice was Mrs. Doubtfire but as they were watching the movie, Nash, their youngest son, started to choke.

Posted by Nicole Johnson Goddard on Saturday, October 20, 2018

“He started making a gagging noise and [Jake] jumped up really fast to grab him,” she said. “He was getting ready to do the Heimlich on him and then he took a breath.”

Nash was breathing without difficulty so they thought he had just swallowed a kernel of popcorn. Unfortunately, they were wrong.

Nicole went on Facebook to share a warning with other parents. The post has been viewed more than a million times.

Now that I’ve had a chance to sit and reflect on a very unfortunate but eye opening event that our family encountered. I…

Posted by Nicole Johnson Goddard on Sunday, February 24, 2019

“He seemed completely fine and continued to watch the movie. The only thing we observed was a cough he developed after the episode,” she wrote.

The family had been passing around a cold and they thought Nash was coming down with it. They put the children to bed and got ready for their week.

“Monday came and [in the evening] I noticed Nash felt warm and he was super fussy. He had a fever so I gave him Motrin and put him to bed.”

Posted by Nicole Johnson Goddard on Sunday, February 24, 2019

She stayed with Nash through the night and noticed he was having a hard time breathing. When she called the pediatrician, they said she should get him to the hospital right away.

In the ER, they took a chest X-ray and a bronchoscopy. Nash was put under for that procedure and his father was called back from a business trip.

That is when they found it. There were 6 pieces of popcorn embedded in their son’s lungs. The body was fighting them as it would an infection and pneumonia set in. At that point, his lungs were so swollen that another procedure was done to ensure they got all of the pieces.

Posted by Nicole Johnson Goddard on Sunday, February 24, 2019

“The second procedure was done and once again the poor guy had to be put under and rolled off to surgery,” Nicole wrote.

Popcorn should not be given to children under 5 because they do not have the strength to cough up any tiny pieces that might to in the lungs. Nicole is now sharing the story so other parents are aware of it.

“We’re so thankful our little man came out ok. All of this over popcorn, which is eaten on a regular basis in our home.”

Posted by Nicole Johnson Goddard on Sunday, February 24, 2019

Since being posted, it has been shared more than 100,000 times and people around the world have seen it. Many have offered support but others have talked about their own, tragic story.

“My little brother passed away from a similar incident but didn’t have any symptoms until it was too late. It took an autopsy to find the cause,” Betty Cornutt Slaton said.

Other parents are saying they would no longer allow their young children to eat popcorn.

You never know how a share like this is going to help others, maybe even save a life.


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