DAYTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Dayton family feared for the life of their 4-year-old son after he swallowed a lollipop with a plastic stick.
Mason was eating a lollipop last month when the trouble began. His family said he started crying, and when his dad checked to see what was wrong, that's when the boy inhaled the lollipop, including its plastic stick.
The boy was rushed to a nearby hospital in Liberty County, but was told the lollipop would pass.
"It was a hard plastic sucker stick, not a paper stick," said the boy's mom, Katrina Burnett. "It's not going to dissolve in his stomach. They did a chest X-ray to make sure he didn't aspirate it into his lungs and they sent us home."
Mason spiked a fever that night, so his mom, dad and stepmom took him to another emergency room.
"That's not any type of way you ever want to see your child," said Burnett. "Ever. That was the hardest thing for me."
Three hospitals, numerous X-rays and two weeks later, Mason still hadn't passed the lollipop. According to family, he endured a partially collapsed lung and aspiration pneumonia before he finally got help at The Woman's Hospital of Texas.
"They found a four-inch sucker stick lodged, not even in his intestines, but the little area between the stomach and the intestines, and it was eroding into his intestines," said his mom.
Even though he has to take it easy at school and around friends, Mason is back on his feet.
Burnett hopes her boy's close call with tragedy serves as a lesson to families everywhere.
"Do not let them eat a sucker without you present, and if you know something is wrong with your baby, you are the parent," she said. "You are their advocate. Anything you can do just to make sure they're okay, because no one knows your kid like you know your kid. I would hate for this to happen to another child."