Chehalis woman recovers from surgery after swallowing barbecue brush wire

by: Richard Thompson Updated:

CHEHALIS, Wash. - A woman is recovering after she swallowed a barbecue brush wire.

"I thought I was getting an ulcer," Bonnie Jean Kay told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News.

For six weeks, her stomach was hurting; sometimes a more sometimes more, but then one night it felt like she was being stabbed with a knife.

"Like a stiletto just stabbing right under my ribcage,” Kay said.

Kay ended up at the emergency room of Providence Centralis Hospital and a CAT scan revealed there was a 1½-inch long object in her liver. 

Kay underwent surgery and the doctor discovered that object was a metal bristle from a barbeque brush. She said it was a frightening situation telling KIRO 7 she could have died.

Dr. Emery Chang performed the surgery. He was surprised to find a barbecue brush wire inside of Kay and said she is actually fortunate it made its way through her stomach and into the liver and not somewhere else.

"If it hit a vessel or anything like that it could have been disastrous," said Chang.

Kay is just the latest person recently to require medical attention after swallowing a barbecue brush wire.

The Centers for Disease Control has issued a warning of the potential danger.

Kay’s husband, Stephen, said he is now using spray-on cleaner instead of a brush to clean his grill.

Kay told KIRO 7 she never imagined she could swallow a brush wire, but now that it's happened to her, she wants others to be careful.

"If just one person cannot go through the pain and suffering that I went through, I'll feel like I've really done something important,” Kay said.