Man Swallows an AirPod while Asleep

A Massachusetts man who suddenly woke up struggling to breathe was stunned when doctors told him he had swallowed his one of his AirPods in his sleep.

Brad Gauthier, 38, from Worcester, went to the hospital on Tuesday after he was left gagging while trying to drink a glass of water after waking up. X-rays revealed that one of his wireless Apple headphones had become wedged in his esophagus.

The blockage caused Gauthier’s throat to fill up with water as he tried to drink and made him feel as though he was choking.

He was able to get the water out by leaning over and continued his day as normal, despite the strange sensation in his chest – evening clearing his driveway which had become covered with snow after a severe blizzard.  

During the day, Gauthier noticed that one of his earbud’s was missing. While his family helped look for it, they joked that, as he had a sore chest, perhaps he had swallowed it.

My wife mentioned it when I came in and we laughed about it, but something just clicked and I got a weird sinking feeling that I’d swallowed it in my sleep.

‘At that point, I putzed around for another 10 minutes thinking about it but we all determined it’d be better safer than sorry to go to hospital.’

Hospital staff first suggested that the food from Gauthier’s wife Heather’s birthday party the night before could be the source of his discomfort but x-rays soon uncovered the real culprit.

‘It was pretty funny, when she [the hospital worker] left the room I could hear a bit of chatter outside – ‘No it couldn’t be?’

‘She came back in, looks at me and says: ‘I’ll be damned, you swallowed it.’

X-rays revealed that one of Gauthier's wireless Apple headphones (circled) had become wedged in his oesophagus

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