11-Year-Old Boy Hospitalized After Tongue ‘Sucked In’ By Water Bottle

Orlando, FL — An 11-year-old boy was hospitalized after a water bottle “sucked his tongue in” and had to be surgically removed.

Demetrice Gibson was in gym class Monday when he went to drink from an aluminum bottle.

“He went in to have a drink and when he went to pull it away from his mouth, it just sucked his tongue in,” the boy’s mother, Ebony Gibson, said. “My heart just dropped. It just dropped.”

Demetrice Gibson had to be taken to the hospital where doctors surgically removed the bottle from his tongue and put him on a ventilator. As of Friday, Gibson was still in the intensive care unit at Arnold Palmer Hospital.

Ebony Gibson said, “His airways had swollen up so badly and his tongue swollen up so badly, he couldn’t breathe on his own. He’s very scared.”

The 11-year-old said the grooves inside the neck of the aluminum bottle cut his lips and tongue.

A similar incident happened in 2010, when a 6-year-old Philadelphia girl named Mary Kate Person got her tongue stuck inside an aluminum water bottle.

The same thing happened to a Georgia girl September of this year. Jayla Small was at cheerleading practice when she took a sip of water from an aluminum water bottle. Coaches tried to slide the bottle away from the girl’s face, but that failed. They then called in a maintenance worker to cut the bottom of the bottle, but Small’s tongue had swollen and the bottle had been pushed so far back it was almost touching her wisdom teeth. She began gagging and was rushed to the operating room. The bottle was removed, but she may have to undergo speech therapy due to nerve damage.

For Ebony Gibson’s part, the incident has caused her to throw out all aluminum water bottles in her house.

“So if you have them in your home, please throw them away, get rid of them,” she said.

Demetrice Gibson is likely to make a full recovery, doctors said.