Octopus found in toddler's throat in US; child abuse suspected

Houston, Apr 10: A two-year-old boy in the US was nearly choked to death by a dead octopus, in a suspected case of child abuse.

The child's 21-year-old mother in Kansas' Wichita city returned home from work only to find her 36-year-old boyfriend Matthew Gallagher trying to give rescue breaths to her son who was unable to breathe.


The couple rushed the boy to a nearby hospital on Tuesday where doctors found and removed the dead octopus, its head about five centimetres in diameter, from the boy's throat which was causing oxygen deprivation to his brain, CBC News reported.

Police said the octopus was not a family pet and likely was to be used for sushi dish. It was not immediately known how the octopus ended up in the toddler's throat.

The toddler had been listed in critical but stable condition and doctors were unsure whether he would suffer any permanent brain damage from oxygen deprivation, the reports said.

Gallagher is suspected of child abuse after police said his girlfriend's son, who was in his care, was found not breathing because an octopus was lodged in his throat. His explanations for the boy's bruises and how the sea creature entered in the boy's throat were being probed.

He was arrested on suspicion of child abuse but later released. The toddler had minor visible injuries and breathing issues, and "an obstruction was removed from his throat," according to the report.

The boy showed signs of improvement on Thursday as the investigation pressed on, the report added.


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