A 10-year-old boy in Georgetown, South Carolina named Payton has tragically died after swallowing a rubber ball and now his parents are speaking out about the danger of toys.
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Payton's parents, Billy and Candice Gaskins, lost their son on October 21, 2017. Payton's father Billy says he bought the small rubber ball he bought for his son and 6-year-old daughter Morgan. The toy was a small type of bouncy rubber ball that he bought in a 25-cent dispenser.
Billy gave the ball to his children under two conditions: no bouncing the ball in the store and do not put it in your mouth but after a day of playing with the ball they forgot about the rules. Early the next day, Payton came into his parent's bedroom, left and came back two minutes later pointing to his mouth.
His parents said, "He was doing this at me and all I could see was that big red ball in the back of his throat. I immediately jumped up and started doing the Heimlich maneuver on him and the ball wouldn’t come out."
In a desperate attempt to save his son's life, Billy also tried to physically grab the ball out of his son's mouth but after that didn't work he began CPR while Candice called 911 emergency.
Payton was taken from Georgetown to MUSC in Charleston by a helicopter but after several days of a medically-induced coma, Payton died since his brain had just been deprived of oxygen for too long.
The boy's mother said, "It was very hard and knowing we were going to leave that hospital without him, it was very hard and to tell his sister that her brother wasn’t coming home."
The parents turned to prayer but nothing helped says, Candice, "I was praying there one night and something happened and I felt the hair stand up on my body and it was something giving me peace to let me know Payton was okay."
Candice went on to say, "We could picture him getting into a four-wheeler accident or a dirt bike accident because he was always on something like that, but for it to actually have been a ball to take our child’s life, it’s just unimaginable. Maybe a baby not knowing but you know a 10-year-old you wouldn’t think."
Both parents are hoping that Payton's death will serve as a warning for parents and said, "Anything in your house that a child can choke on, get rid of it, rubber ties off little cars and trucks, any kind of little ball they can stick in their mouth. Freak accidents can happen in a matter of seconds. It took all of two minutes for him to walk out of my room I had just taken my eyes off him."
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