Family movie nights often make for wonderful family memories.
For Nicole Goddard, movie nights have been tainted by a horrific incident that she shared on social media, as a warning to other families.
Nicole and Jake Goddard live a quiet life in Parker, Colorado. They had a weekend ritual that included family movie nights. Every weekend, they sit down with their three kids to watch a family movie. They pick a movie, get the couch all comfy, and of course, pop a big bowl of popcorn.
This particular weekend they were watching Mrs. Doubtfire when their son, Nash, had a small choking incident. This mom of three didn't think twice about giving him the popcorn, it's a favorite snack at the Goddard home. After Nash choked on the popcorn, he coughed a little but nothing came out. They assumed he had swallowed it and continued on with the film. Nash appeared completely fine. The only thing they observed was a cough he developed after the episode.
The next day, Nash was fine, but still had a weird sounding cough which concerned Mom a little. Nicole assumed he was catching the same cough that had been making its way around the family. Her husband Jake then left on a three-day trip, leaving her with the kids. As the evening came Nicole noticed Nash felt warm and was super fussy. He had a fever and a very long night followed. The young boy's fever continued and his breathing looked a little labored. Things didn't feel good to Nicole and when morning came, she called her pediatrician immediately saying Nash needed to be seen ASAP.
Nicole took Nash to the pediatrician, who sent them to the Children's hospital where Nash was immediately sent for a chest X-ray. Fearing the worst, Dad Jake flew back from his work trip to meet them at the hospital. Nash's Doctor didn’t like what he saw in the X-ray so he scheduled a Bronchoscopy. Nash was put under for the procedure.
"I paced and cried the entire time my little man was in surgery," said Nicole. Jake arrived at the hospital just in time to go to recovery and see Nash.
Nicole explains what happened next like this: "He had aspirated popcorn into his lungs when he choked. The body recognized it as a foreign object and put puss pockets around it. All the inflammation caused him to develop pneumonia in his left lung. During the procedure, the Dr got out 6 pieces. There was so much inflammation so the Dr. wasn’t 100% sure that he got it all so scheduled him to be admitted and repeat the procedure in 2 days. It was an up and down roller coaster but we were in the best care. The second procedure was done and once again poor guy had to be put under and rolled off to surgery. The Dr met us when it was over and said the procedure was successful and he got the last piece out. Nash was a rockstar and recovered well. He had to go one hour on room air oxygen without his o2 dropping under 90. He passed and we were discharged that evening."
Popcorn is unsafe for children under 5 as they don't have the physical strength to cough up tiny bits that might go down the wrong tube. Nicole said she's sharing her story so that other parents don't make the same mistake she did.
"We're so thankful our little man came out ok. All of this over popcorn, which is eaten on a regular basis in our home."
Nicole's Facebook warning has now been viewed over a million times.
Many offer their support, but some others have shared tragic stories of their own.
"My little brother passed away from a similar incident but didn't have any symptoms until it was too late. It took an autopsy to find the cause," Betty Cornutt Slaton said.
Many parents responded saying their days of letting their little ones eat popcorn were over.
Who knows, Nicole's post may have saved a life. You can see it below.