In important AirPod news — a guy swallowed one and has not only lived to tell the tale, but the damn thing still works.
Back in February Bradford Gauthier did a pretty normal thing – started falling asleep in front of a movie. In this case it was The Thing, starring Kurt Russell. A classic.
According to a post he penned for The Guardian, he knew he was dropping off in the first 10 minutes of the film. So he removed his phone from the bed and put one of his AirPods away.
He couldn’t find the other one, no biggie. So he goes to the bathroom for some water but can’t really swallow properly.
“My throat filled with water, but it wouldn’t go down – I had to lean over the sink and let the water drain out. It was bizarre and alarming, but I was so tired that I just went back to bed,” Gauthier detailed.
Fortunately, he actually woke up the next morning. He still couldn’t find the missing AirPod, though. And apparently ‘Find’ my couldn’t help solve the mystery as the battery was dead.
At breakfast he still couldn’t swallow properly but apparently still wasn’t concerned, believing he just had a dry throat. But he did ask his family if they had seen his missing AirPod.
Apparently it was his son who floated the idea of maybe swallowing it in his sleep. It was only then that Gauthier made the connection between his weird throat issue and the missing bud.
While the doctors didn’t really believe it at first (apparently people with stuff in their throat suffer a lot more pain), an x-ray revealed that the AirPod was indeed stuck in his oesophagus.
“If ingested, it could either pass harmlessly through my system, or lodge in my intestines, which would mean surgery,” Gauthier said.
“There was also a slight possibility that the device might rupture, and I didn’t want to try digesting a lithium-ion battery.”
The AirPod was retrieved with a lasso-type device and Gauthier is now completely fine.
And incredibly, so is the AirPod.
According to Gauthier, it still works “although the microphone is less reliable than it was.”
If you’re wondering how in the hell he managed to swallow it, you’re not alone.
“My theory is that it dropped on to the pillow, ended up next to my mouth and got sucked in when I yawned,” Gautheir said.
“In retrospect, I’m glad the ‘find my AirPod’ attempt didn’t work – I would have freaked out if my throat had beeped.”
This is not the first time that an AirPod has been swallowed. Back in 2019 a Taiwanese man also managed to swallow one in his sleep. After being rescued from his stomach, the AirPod still managed to work.
Here’s to developing a brand new anxiety as a result of this story.
Disclosure: the author owns shares in Apple.