A 14-year-old boy in Uttar Pradesh, India, had to be hospitalized after reportedly consuming 16 toothbrushes and a 3-inch-long iron nail in a bizarre bid to cure his addiction to eating dirt.
According to a Jam Press report, Harish Devi ingested the items after a holistic medical “expert” said the unorthodox remedy could help cure his habit of consuming soil.
Meanwhile, the teen’s family believed that the aforementioned objects also could help exorcise a ghost that had possessed him.
However, after eating the items, Harish began to experience severe stomach pain. The boy was rushed to Baba Raghav Das Medical College, where doctors made the alarming discovery.
Acting quickly, surgeons extracted the dental equipment and the nail from the patient’s abdomen. Accompanying footage shows Harish lying on the bed next to the bloody items, as well as an X-ray of the long nail in the poor soul’s stomach. Photos depict snippets of the grisly operation.
Thankfully, Harish’s condition has improved following the operation, and doctors hope that he will make a full recovery.
It’s unknown what causes people to consume soil, although it could be caused by pica, a common childhood affliction in which youngsters crave inedible items from dirt to human hair, according to Healthline. Harish’s dirt addiction could also be geophagia, a practice in which people eat dirt or clay to alleviate stomach issues such as food poisoning.
Unfortunately, the habit can conversely expose practitioners to heavy metals, harmful microbes and parasites.
This isn’t the first time someone has ingested an unconventional item to try to cure an affliction. Earlier this month, a Lithuanian man redefined “iron stomach” after swallowing nails, screws, nuts and knives in a bizarre attempt to stop drinking alcohol.
During a subsequent three-hour operation, doctors removed a total of two pounds of metal from his abdomen.