Indiana Woman Accidentally Swallows Embedded Wire at Kebab BBQ

Barbecue skewers meat kebabs with vegetables on flaming grill

After enduring nine months of treatment, including many operations, 28 days without voice, and a multi-disciplinary team of specialists, a woman is now cautioning people about ‘harmful’ barbecue cleaning tools.

A stepmother alleges that her friend’s BBQ was almost fatal when she ingested a cleaning brush bristle concealed in her kebab, causing her to suffocate and incur $12,000 in medical expenses.

The Indianapolis, Indiana native Jessica Doster, a hospital administrator, believed she swallowed her food wrong after eating a chicken shish kebab at a friend’s BBQ. 

Later that night, though, the 35-year-old went to the ER when her pain was becoming worse. The doctors told her she probably just “scratched her throat.”

With labored breathing and the inability to swallow solid food, Jessica lost six pounds in less than a week.

After getting no relief or satisfaction, the stepmother-of-one decided to see an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) expert, who determined that the culprit was probably a bristle from a grill brush that she had eaten.

An x-ray and CT scan validated the doctor’s spot-on hypothesis. She endured a four-hour operation to try and remove the wire, which rendered Jessica speechless for 28 days. The operation failed to get the wire.

The hospital administrator is still reeling from the tragedy that occurred five years ago, and she is demanding that all wire brushes be removed from the shelves.

‘I believed I was going to die,’ she recounted. For six days, she went without food and was limited to drinking water or broth, losing weight, and getting weak.

According to Jessica, she was informed that the wire would be left in her neck. The doctor assured her that her body would find a way to deal with the constant presence of shrapnel in her system. Surgeons were fearful that further surgery would paralyze her vocal cords.

Jessica decided to have another operation in January 2020 despite the “high probability” of failure after six months of dealing with the wire in her throat and subsequent suffering.

Jessica’s voice is still raspy, and she spent $12,000 on medical expenditures.