Doctors in China have recently dealt with an astounding case-- they had to remove a steel spoon stuck in a man's esophagus, a year after he had swallowed it on a dare.
The man - believed to be in his early twenties and known only as Mr. Zhang (so, we will refer to him as Mr. Zhang for this article, not because we are polite, but because we want to!) gulped down the 20cm-long spoon back in 2017, according to Live Science. He did this on impulse while "betting" with friends, a statement from the Xinjiang Coal Mine General Hospital said.
The spoon instantly became lodged in his esophagus but, as he was in no pain or discomfort, Mr. Zhang did not deem it necessary to seek medical attention to remove the utensil, and went on to live his life. It wasn't until he was punched in the chest (we do not know how Mr. Zhang found himself in a situation where he had to be punched) that the spoon became a problem. He began suffering from chest pains and had difficulty breathing, and had no choice but to go to the hospital, where x-rays of his torso created quite a commotion among doctors.
"I was very surprised. I have never encountered a similar patient," Dr. Yu Xiwu, a doctor at the Xinjiang Meikuang General Hospital, said.
He ruled the spoon a threat to Mr. Zhang's life and doctors then proceeded to extract the utensil under general anesthesia. It took two hours to retrieve the spoon via Mr. Zhang's mouth, with the procedure carrying a risk of perforating his esophagus. Doctors said the spoon was covered in mucus and could have caused a serious infection. However, Mr. Zhang recovered well from the procedure and was discharged two days later. The hospital published a public safety warning from Dr. Xiwu following the operation, warning people not to swallow foreign objects.
"Don't be impulsive and do things that hurt you," the statement read. "Because foreign bodies enter the esophagus or stomach, they can be life-threatening at any time."
We are thankful for Mr. Xhang's recovery and we hope that he has learned his lesson, that he will listen to his wise doctor's advice, and that he will use cutlery only to eat his food from now on, despite his exciting life full of dares and punches!