Wackiest health stories of 2017

From hospital mix-ups to cases that left doctors baffled, 2017 had it’s fair share of wacky medical drama. Here are 10 of those cases: 

dental brace wire

The dental brace wire was discovered twisted in the woman’s intestine.  (BMJ Case Reports)

Dental brace wire lodged in intestine for a decade, doctors say

A 30-year-old woman in Australia discovered more than she anticipated when she went to the doctor due to stomach pains — only to find a dental brace wire that had been lodged in her intestine for a decade. 

At first, doctors were stumped when laboratory tests, ultrasound and scans of her liver, gallbladder and bile ducts turned up normal, but a CT scan later revealed the 3-inch wire in her intestine.

Read the full article here.

A "bubbly" teenager has died after being stuck down by a sudden illness at college. Jasmine Beever fell ill on September 7. She was taken to hospital by ambulance and was initially resuscitated, but then passed away. caption: Jasmine Beever, left, who died suddenly after Peritonitis. Her friend Billy, right, has started a campaign to help raise money for her family.

Beever’s case was caused by the infected hairball in her stomach, and eventually led to a burst ulcer that caused her organs to shut down.  (Lincolnshire Live / BPM Media)

Teen with ‘Rapunzel syndrome’ dies from eating her own hair 

Tragedy struck for one family in the U.K. when their 16-year-old daughter died suddenly while away at college. Jasmine Beever’s cause of death was linked to an infected hairball in her stomach, which eventualy lead to a burst ulcer that caused her organs to shut down. 

Patients who swallow their own hair are often diagnosed with Rapunzel syndrome, which is caused by a psychiatric disorder called trichophagia. 

Read the full article here.


The section of colon that was removed was 30 inches long and weighed nearly 29 lbs.  (Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital)

Man’s 29 lbs. of poop removed: what is Hirschsprung’s disease? 

Doctors in China removed 30 inches of a 22-year-old’s colon after his belly had swelled past the size that would normally be seen in a full-term pregnant woman. They discovered 29 pounds of feces within the colon, after learning that he had been constipated since birth. 

Hirschsprung’s disease is a birth defect that occurs in about 1 in 5,000 babies in the U.S., and leaves patients with no nerve cells within the wall of their colon. 

Read the full article here.

healthcare and medical concept , Close-up of surgeons hands holding surgical scissors and passing surgical equipment , motion blur background.

Steven Hanes, who is not pictured, has not sought further treatment since the incident.  (iStock)

Man gets $870G after doctor removes wrong testicle

Steven Hanes was awarded $870,000 after his doctor removed the wrong testicle during a botched 2013 surgery. The 54-year-old had sought treatment for chronic pain in his right testicle, but said he is is now left with a “debilitating fear” about seeking further help. 

The jury found that Hanes’ doctor was “recklessly indifferent,” while his lawyer said his explanation made “no anatomical or medical sense.” 

Read the full article here.

Curious sea lions poking head up from water. Hornby Island, BC, Canada.

The girl’s family contacted an aquarium to inquire about “seal finger,” which is caused by bacteria found in the mouths of sea mammals.  (iStock)

Girl dragged into water being treated for ‘seal finger’

One of the year’s most viewed videos featured a young girl being pulled into the water by a sea lion in Vancouver. After news outlets began reporting on it, the girl’s family contacted an aquarium to inquire about “seal finger,” which is caused by bacteria found in the mouths of sea mammals. 

If left untreated, the infection could turn severe and even lead to a loss of fingers or limbs. It wasn’t clear what treatment the girl had been receiving, or if she was ever diagnosed with it. 

Read the full article here.


A woman (not pictured) was hospitalized for spontaneously “sweating blood” from her face and palms of her hands, a case report revealed.  (Reuters)

Woman who ‘sweats blood’ a medical mystery for doctors

This case features a 21-year-old woman in Italy who was admitted to the hospital for “sweating blood” from her hands and face. The unidentified woman has been dealing with the disorder for three years and would start bleeding spontaneously in her sleep or while she was physically active. 

The ultimate diagnosis was hematohidrosis, an uncommon disease that causes a spontaneous discharge of blood to sweat through intact skin, as well as out of areas that don’t have sweat glands. 

Read the full article here.

Mysterious illness causes boy to sleep for 11 days

Wyatt Shaw, 7, had spent the day celebrating a relative’s wedding before falling into a deep sleep. But when his mom went to wake him the following day, he complained of a stomach ache and said that his head hurt. He fell back asleep before being taken to Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville, where it would be 10 days before he opened his eyes again. 

His case continues to be a mystery, but he was given a medication that is typically used to treat seizures and seems to be helping him. He is also having trouble walking and talking as doctors attempt to pinpoint what caused his slumber in the first place. 

Read the full article here.


Sarai Rodriguez-Miranda is accused of plotting to kill her 11-week-old niece by lacing her bottles with pills.  (Allen County Sheriff’s Department)

Woman accused in plot to kill niece with poisoned breast milk

The birth of a new infant typically brings joy and excitement for many families, but it led one new aunt to allegedly hatch a devious plot to kill her 11-week-old niece. Sarai Rodriguez-Miranda, 19, reportedly used a cellphone that she shares with her mother to tell her boyfriend that she crushed up pills and put them in the baby’s bottle in the fridge. 

Rodriguez-Miranda was allegedly upset that her mother had invited her brother, his baby and his fiance to stay with them longer than she had expected. Her mother reportedly read the texts and intercepted the bottles before informing police, prompting Rodriguez-Mirand to express frustration that the baby was still living. 

Read the full article here.


The family’s insurance company allegedly sent 9-month-old Connor a letter denying a request for coverage after he was enrolled in a clinical trial to treat aggressive brain cancer.  (GoFundMe)

Insurer allegedly sends coverage denial letter to 9-month-old with brain cancer

This one had parents everywhere fuming after a retired NYPD officer claimed his family’s insurance company sent a letter addressed to his 9-month-old son denying coverage for a clinical trial that he was enrolled in to treat an aggressive brain cancer. 

Wayne Richardson said the letter said his son’s treatment was “not medically necessary,” but that without it, the boy would die. While he was receiving treatment free-of-cost at St. Jude’s, Richardson was angered that the hospital would not receive funds from the insurance company that could go toward important research. 

Read the full article here.

X-RAY shows what Sarah's neck will look like after the surgery. Sarah Gearing age 40 who suffers from Ehlers danlos syndrome at her home in Essex. See Masons copy MNBRAIN: A desperately ill woman whose brain is dropping out of her skull won't live to see Christmas this year if she doesn't raise enough money for life saving surgery.Sarah Gearing, 40, has a condition which causes her body's connective tissues to collapse, meaning that many of her joints frequently fall apart.This condition, called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, means that Sarah needs £130,000 to have a unique operation which will take place in Barcelona and last for over ten hours.

This X-RAY rendering shows what Gearing’s neck will look like after the surgery.  (SWNS)

Woman whose brain is dropping out of skull fundraising for life-saving surgery

Sarah Gearing, 40, has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which causes her body’s connective tissues to collapse, meaning that her joints frequently fall apart. The condition is currently causing her brain to drop out of her skull, and she is in need of $170,000 for a 10-hour operation to fix it. 

Her brain has slipped 7-mm out of place and is prventing fluid from circulating between the brain and spine. The condition also causes chronic pain, both physical and mental, and has left her joints so loose that when she sneezes her ribs dislocate. 

Read the full article here.

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