-- A Connecticut woman was rushed to the hospital with intense stomach pain after she accidentally swallowed something in her hamburger.
The culprit: a bristle from a grill brush.
Cheryl Harrison went to MidState Medical Center in Meriden two days after eating the hamburger, and had to have emergency surgery earlier this month in order to remove the foreign object.
The tiny piece of metal was less than an inch long, Dr. Aziz Benbrahim, who treated Harrison, said.
“If it was in my mouth and I bit it and I knew it I wouldn’t have swallowed it,” Harrison said at a news conference following her recovery last week. “It must have been positioned in that burger just perfect, and I ingested it and swallowed it.”
“You can die from it; it’s a big problem,” Benbrahim told ABC News today. “It’s a flexible piece of metal so when you eat it, you don’t feel it in your mouth. It goes down to your small intestine and we have a normal kink, 90 degree kink, and that bristle can’t negotiate the turn and that’s how it made a hole in her intestine.”
Benbrahim said he was able to treat the Wallingford woman immediately because he had experience with something like this before.
“About a year ago, I had a patient who almost died from it,” he said. “He had [eaten] a bristle from a grill brush and he was sick for two weeks.”
Benbrahim said that patient had an infection that led to a blood clot in his lungs. He said Harrison, who ABC News was unable to reach, came into the hospital at the perfect time, and that’s why she was able to recover fairly quickly.
“I feel better,” Harrison said last week, “a little tender but I feel definitely better.”