Jackie Fedro did not think that any harm could come from giving her 13 year old daughter, Gabbie, a cell phone for Christmas. The family picked out a T-Mobile LG d500 cell phone for their daughter and assumed that once they taught Gabbie about internet safety and privacy, everything would be fine. However, the Fedros were shocked to learn that it was actually Gabbie’s physical health that they should have been worrying about.
It happened on a peaceful afternoon, when Gabbie was relaxing in her room and playing on her phone. Suddenly, Jackie hear her daughter screaming in pain, and then Gabbie came rushing down the stairs to her mother. Jackie rushed to her daughter and found her screaming hysterically as she held her neck. Jackie had severe second degree burns wrapping around her neck, in the shape of the necklace that she had been wearing. At first, they just looked reddened and raised, but it gradually became apparent just how bad the burns were.
After getting the burns treated, the Fedros tried to discover what had happened to their daughter. Normally, injuries caused by cell phones are due to the lithium ion battery getting overheated and exploding, but Gabbie’s phone appeared to still be working fine. Then they realized that it happened because Gabbie was charging her phone while she used it. Having a burn that encircles a body part and looks swollen can be a sign of a burn from electrocution. It turns out that the cord of the charger bumped against Gabbie’s metal necklace, and a short circuit caused the electricity to be transmitted in a current along the necklace and around her neck.
When Jackie tried to talk to LG and T-Mobile about the faulty phone, LG did not even respond to her complaints at all. However, T-Mobile promptly agreed to send Gabbie a new phone, and they even offered to pay her medical bills. In return, the Fedro’s shipped the old phone back to T-Mobile, so they could test it and see if it was an individually faulty item or if they entire line of phones was faulty.
Jackie is now sharing her daughter’s story on social media networks. She hopes to raise awareness about the dangers of using a phone while it is charged. Though most phones are well insulated, an occasional issue can cause a phone to short circuit and let a shocking charge travel up the charger to the person using her cell phone. This is more common when cheap, knock-off chargers are used, but Gabbie’s story shows that even a brand new phone can hurt a person. Most experts agree that these shocks are typically not strong enough to kill someone, but they can cause severe burns and other damage, especially if water or metal is conducting the current.
While raising awareness about the dangers of cell phones, Jackie published the following picture on her social media networks:
As Gabbie’s burns began to heal, they start to scab over.
Though the burns are finally healing, they still look quite gruesome and uncomfortable.