13-year-old Mississippi boy burned after necklace touches cell phone charger


Jackson, Miss. (WJTV) –Wright Beckham was relaxing on a couch at his home in Philadelphia, Mississippi when he was severely burned. The necklace he was wearing connected with the prong of a cell phone charger that was only partially connected to an extension cord.

“I rolled over and my chain got caught between a charger piece and it hit both prongs and shocked me and burned me around my neck,” Wright says it felt like he was having a seizure and the burning feeling started immediately.

Wright spent 2 days at Merit Health Central in the JMS Burn Unit. He underwent surgery for a skin graft and will have a second surgery Friday.

Dr. David Adcock, a surgeon in the burn unit at Merit, says he’s seen this before and more, “We’ve seen a number of patients that were burned when the charging wire was frayed and the insulation was rubbed off or cracked.”

Dr. Adcock says it makes sense that Wright’s necklace would act as a conductor, “You think about it, jewelry is usually going to be made of silver or gold or some combination of those metals and those are two of the best conductors of current that there are.”

Little remains of the necklace and part of the chain is welded to the charger plug-in. Wright’s mother, Amanda, says, “Everything was burned except the actual cross. It was perfectly intact.”

The American Burn Association reports that in the United States, on average, 400 people die from electrocution and 4,400 are injured each year.

“There’s a lot of people that do the same thing he was doing,” says Wright’s father, Shannon, “You know, plug your phone charger into an extension cord so you can set on the couch and leave it charged.”

And while Wright will live with the scars on his neck and hands, he says he’s thankful he’s alive.

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