A HEARTBROKEN family are urging parents to dispose of the tiny magnetic balls used as 'fake tongue piercings' in a viral TikTok trend - as their 11-year-old was left 'fighting for his life' after swallowing them.

Ellis Tripp remains in a critical condition in hospital after swallowing five tiny magnetic balls which were discovered in his intestines and bowel.

The Nunnery Wood High School pupil, who had been poorly for a week, was rushed to Worcestershire Royal Hospital on Wednesday when doctors thought he might have been suffering from a burst appendix.

But then surgeons made the 'horrific discovery' that the magnetic balls were inside his intestines and bowel - they popped through his bowel and stuck to the operating equipment.

He was rushed to Birmingham Children's hospital on Friday and endured another gruelling six-hour operation on Saturday.

Sue Davies, 50, Ellis's grandmother said Ellis is "hooked up tubes and wires" as his body tries to fight the infection caused by his bowel leaking.

Speaking to the Worcester News on Sunday, she said: "He is seriously, seriously ill.

"Two major surgeries in just a few days isn't good for anybody, let alone a child. I am absolutely gutted, it's a very worrying time.

"It has been a truly horrific experience. We didn't think this could have ever happened to us, these tiny magnetic balls have cased such damage.

"Ellis went into theatre yesterday at 3pm and came back to the ward at 9pm. They had to remove five inches of his bowel to get the remaining two magnets.

"They've also had to go through his intestines to get to them.

"We don't know where he got them from. His headteacher did a search and they found a lot of kids with them at school."

Ms Davies said Ellis, who has a younger sister, Poppy, 10, and brother Reagan, 5, was facing a fight for his life.

She added: "The next 24 hours are going to be crucial. It's all about how his body fights this infection now after his bowel burst.

"We wouldn't have ever expected this. He's gone from being a happy, healthy 11-year-old to being hooked up on wires and drips.

"His mum hasn't left his side since Wednesday, she can't.

It is feared Ellis may have been performing a dangerous TikTok craze which sees youngsters pretend to have their tongue pierced.

The viral prank sees people place two magnetic balls either side of their tongue and wiggle it around, creating an optical illusion that their piercing is stationary.

Mum Amy Clarke, 31, who has been by her son's side in hospital ever since, posted a heartfelt plea urging other parents to get rid of the magnets.

She posted on Facebook: "I’m in a nightmare.

"This TikTok craze could/would have killed him if left any longer. Please talk to your children and tell them how DANGEROUS THESE ARE.

"Magneto Beads are deadly if swallowed. They even have them in educational/childcare settings for children to play with. DESTROY THEM...!!!!!"

It is not clear how Ellis managed to swallow the balls as his family say they do not have any in the house and the schoolboy does not have TikTok.