A WORCESTER schoolboy is facing his fourth operation in just six weeks after swallowing tiny magnetic balls used as 'fake tongue piercings' in a viral TikTok video.

The family of Ellis Tripp, 11, have said he has gone from a bubbly, happy boy to a 'different child' after his ordeal.

Ellis was rushed to hospital on May 19 after complaining of stomach pains, surgeons then made the 'horrific discovery' that the magnetic balls were inside his intestines and bowel.

During the keyhole surgery at Worcestershire Royal Hospital the tiny magnets popped through the bowel and attached to the operating equipment.

The Nunnery Wood High School was then transferred to Birmingham Children's for a gruelling six hour operation where surgeons had to remove five inches of his bowel to retrieve the remaining magnets.


His devastated grandmother, Sue Davies said Ellis was 'fighting for his life'.

Sadly, the young lad's journey to recovery is far from over.

Ms Davies said: "Just two weeks after his second surgery Ellis was back in hospital after coming down with a nasty infection and developing kidney stones.

"He had a third operation and is now set to face a fourth surgery next month.

"Although he is home now, he is a different child. He has lost a lot of weight. He has gone from a bubbly, happy little boy to being quiet and subdued.

"Even when we go out he just sits in his wheelchair and doesn't say or do a lot. He is really suffering. It is awful for all of us.

"We don't know what kind of long term impact that this will have on him and his health.

The family are campaigning for the magnetic balls to be banned so 'no other family has to go through what we have'.

Headteacher Steve Powell has previously spoken out about the dangers of the 'magneto balls' after revealing he had 'confiscated several sets from students'.

Mr Powell said: "Everyone in the Nunnery Wood High School community has been thinking about Ellis and his family as they go through this dreadful ordeal.

"We’ve been told that his hospital in Birmingham has dealt with six children with injuries caused by magnets over the past week – showing that this is a serious national problem.

"I’ve shared what we know with all the secondary headteachers in Worcestershire so that they can do all they can to keep their students safe. Students at Nunnery have been taught about the dangers these magnets pose and we’ve confiscated several sets from students – and will continue to do so.

"We all wish Ellis and his family strength over the coming weeks.”