A 3-year-old girl with cerebral palsy is finally recovering at home after an illness, caused by a swallowed penny, stumped her doctors for weeks.

Crystal Claspell told KFVS-12 that her 2-year-old son tried to feed her daughter, Aliya, pennies last month, and that the young girl swallowed one. Over the next few days, Aliya suffered from a number of bouts of vomiting, ultimately being admitted to the emergency room at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Ind., for dehydration. But after four days, Aliya was released with no diagnosis, and the vomiting continued.

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A few days later, Aliya was back in the hospital for more tests. Claspell says she told the doctors about the pennies, but that they couldn’t find anything specific causing Aliya’s illness. “They finally did an ultrasound of her belly, which showed nothing wrong with it, so they wanted to do an upper GI [series], ” she told KFVS-12. “But because she wouldn’t swallow the barium because she couldn’t keep anything down, they couldn’t do it.”

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Claspell, who said she was feeling helpless, scared, and frustrated, transferred her daughter to Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. That’s where a chest x-ray revealed that a penny had gotten lodged in Aliya’s esophagus, Claspell told the news station. It had been there since Aliya first swallowed the penny weeks earlier, she said, and had to be removed surgically. “Because of the penny being lodged in there that whole time, it has left narrowing of the esophagus [and] she might have to have another surgery to stretch it out,” Claspell said. “It has messed up the lining, so she’s now on inhalers and medication to help smooth out the esophagus.“

Fortunately, Aliya is now back home now and recovering well.

(Photo: KFVS)

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