Girl's Retainer Credited With Saving Her Life - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Girl's Retainer Credited With Saving Her Life

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A Havertown teenager ends up in the hospital after a freak accident. She'd accidentally swallowed a portion of her retainer! What doctors found when they went in to remove it was far more serious. They actually credit that retainer with saving her life.

"One night I was sleeping, I felt a pain in my neck," said Allison Magee. "I took out my retainer and there was a part of it missing."

She showed us her x-rays. You can actually see a portion of her retainer lodged in her throat.

"I don't think anyone knows how it happened, I think it just happened," she said.

Doctors noticed Allison's thyroid was enlarged. Her dad, Fran Magee, says his heart dropped at what they told him next.

"Without doing any biopsies they said were 99 percent sure this is cancerous," he said.

Allison who was just 13 at the time discovered she had an advanced form of Pediatric Thyroid Cancer. It had spread to her lymph nodes. Had it not been caught when it was, it could've spread to her lungs.

"It was scary," she said tearfully.

Dr. Andy Bauer, a world renowned expert in the disease at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia says thyroid cancer patients are often like Allison, they don't experience any symptoms. They feel perfectly fine.

"All of a sudden someone tells you, you have thyroid cancer and I think it's a much harder thing to accept," he said.

Allison, though, put on a brave face and smiled. She endured a series of surgeries, one lasted more than 8 hours. She's now 15 years old, and in remission.

"Very grateful it got caught, very grateful at the care she's had here," said her dad, referring to CHOP.

The sophomore at Academy of Notre Dame is pursuing her goal of becoming an actress. She's amazed that a retainer played such a big role in her life.

"Yeah it was a blessing in disguise," she said, smiling.

The Make a Wish Foundation helped Allison land a role as an extra in the Hunger Games 2 movie that'll soon be coming out. Her family is very proud of her.

FOX29 is a proud partner of CHOP and The Children's Miracle Network. Find out how you can help by clicking on the "health tab" on our homepage.


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