A Massachusetts man by the name of Bradford Gauthier had to have an AirPod surgically removed from his windpipe after accidentally swallowing it whilst sleeping.
As reported by WWLP:
A Worcester man is lucky to be breathing today after accidentally swallowing one of his AirPods.
Bradford Gauthier woke up Tuesday morning and noticed he had a little trouble swallowing. He attributed it to a dry or sore throat and carried on with his day.
The day before he had been shoveling snow for two hours after the Nor’easter that hit Massachusetts earlier this week; he says he went to sleep that night ‘worn out.’
The following morning, Gauthier tried to take a drink from a glass of water but couldn’t, before noticing that one of his AirPods had mysteriously disappeared. Gauthier says he slept with them “almost every day” so as not to disturb his sleeping children. Both his wife and son joked that he might have swallowed the device and that it seemed “too coincidental” to be true.
“They brought it up jokingly at first, but it seemed too coincidental that I would be missing it when I knew I went to bed with it, while I felt a distinct blockage in the center of my chest”
But a trip to the emergency room later doctor’s found the missing AirPod lodged in Gauthier’s esophagus. They performed an emergency endoscopy to remove the device and Gauthier was sent home right as rain. Gauthier reportedly said “The GI physician said it’s extremely uncommon for a blockage not to be painful or severely discomforting… It never occurred to me that [sleeping with headphones] could be a safety hazard. I was really quite lucky.”