Mum warns parents of button battery dangers after daughter's death 4 months ago

Mum warns parents of button battery dangers after daughter's death

A heartbreaking loss

One mum is on a mission to warn other parents about the hazards of button batteries after the tragic loss of her daughter Reese. 

Reese's mother, Trista Hamsmith opened up about the devastating loss and why she is sharing her daughter’s harrowing story to help other parents.

In October 2020, Reese swallowed a button battery but doctors believed she was suffering from croup. Medical staff later discovered the young girl had swallowed a button battery which was missing from a household item.

The parents rushed their girl to hospital where she had emergency surgery to remove the button. The surgery was a success and Reese was allowed to go home to recover. However, after mere days at home, Reese was rushed back to hospital where a CT scan revealed a fistula.

Her mum told Today Parents: “There was a hole burned through her trachea and through her esophagus. When that tunnel formed, it was allowing air to go where it didn’t need to be. Food and drinks also went where they didn’t need to go.”

Countless surgeries and scopes followed. Reese was intubated and put under sedation for 40 days, but despite their best efforts, the medical team could not save her. Reese sadly passed away on December 17, 2020, days before Christmas.


“The greatest cost of all, though, is missing the brightest light in our lives and the immense pain that no family should have to endure,” her parents shared on their website.

Despite the tragic loss, her mum has decided to use Reese’s story to help other parents and to raise awareness about button battery ingestion. She has set up a nonprofit organisation called Reese’s Purpose and also created an awareness group called ‘Reese’s warriors’.

Their hope is to raise awareness about button battery ingestion and to support families going through similar situations. Their biggest goal is to ensure that no child ever loses their life to button battery ingestion again. They hope to improve legislation and to introduce more security so children can’t access button batteries as easily.

The loss of little Reese is simply indescribable, but what Trista and Reese’s warriors are doing is bound to help countless families around the world.

You can learn more about Reese's Purpose here.