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 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.