Metal straws were created, in part, to cut down on waste and hopefully contribute to a healthier environment. But the use of these products with children has introduced some unexpectedly dangerous effects, such as with one 4-year-old boy who was stabbed in the throat by a metal straw and nearly died.
Meet Charlie, the 4-Year-Old Boy Who Was Stabbed in the Throat by a Metal Straw
Charlie DeFraia, the youngest of Crystal and Charles Defraia’s two children was just enjoying a yogurt on his porch in East Moriches, New York, one June day, when the worst happened.
Charlie’s mom, Crystal had given him and his sister, 8-year-old Madison, some snacks to enjoy while she discussed the family’s new in-ground pool in the backyard.
Sucking his drinkable yogurt through a metal straw, he sat on the porch ledge awaiting a pool technician to service the pool so they could get to some serious summer fun.
Everything seemed just right, and Charlie’s mom envisioned the summer break ahead with hope.
That is, until she heard a scream and saw her daughter’s terrified face.
Charlie had fallen off the porch and was covered with blood.
Had he bitten his lip or broken his nose in the fall? As scary as these would have been for the 4-year-old boy, they would have been preferred to what actually happened.
Charlie had been stabbed in the throat by a metal straw—the one he’d been using to drink his yogurt. When he fell, the straw was in Charlie’s mouth, and the force of the impact caused the metal straw to push through Charlie’s tongue and into his throat.
That straw had punctured the 4-year-old boy’s right carotid artery, which is one of the four major arteries which supply oxygen and blood to our brains.
This injury caused Charlie to lose blood very quickly.
“As his heart is beating, that amount of blood is pumping out of his mouth,” Crystal told reporters. “My husband pounded on his back and a big clot of blood came out of his mouth and into his hands.”
The family quickly called 911 and told them their 4-year-old boy had been stabbed in the throat by a metal straw.
As they waited for the ambulance, the family worried that they were going to lose the boy completely.
Charlie’s father, Charles told reporters, “He essentially bled out in our front lawn. I watched life leave his eyes.”
Understandably, when this story got out, people noticed:
It could have ended very differently if @stonybrooku doctors didn’t specialize in neurointerventional therapies. This is an amazing story of how @StonyBrookMed helped young Charlie recover from trauma & live a life he was too young to lose (via @USATODAY): https://t.co/sduRRJ5g6N
— SUNY – The State University of New York (@SUNY) September 12, 2022
What Happened to Charlie?
Having been stabbed in the throat by a metal straw, the 4-year-old boy was taken to Stony Brook Hospital and the chief of pediatric trauma surgery, Dr. Richard Scriven, along with an emergency medical team worked to save the boy.
At first, the medical team didn’t understand the extend of Charlie’s injuries. Charlie had been in cardiac arrest, and the blood infusions they attempted caused more bleeding. That’s when they realized his carotid artery had been punctured.