A British pensioner who had a pen removed from her stomach has left the medical world amazed after it worked more than a quarter of a century later.
The 76-year-old, who has not been named, inadvertently swallowed the felt-tip in early 1986 while she was attempting to check her tonsils.
As she held down her tongue it fell down her throat and she rushed to hospital to have it removed.
But her husband and doctors dismissed her story after scans and X-rays failed to find anything. She later left the hospital and forgot about it.
More than 25 years later she was seen by a gastrointestinal specialist at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital Foundation Trust after suffering stomach pains, weight loss and diarrhoea.
An urgent investigation disclosed that areas of the woman’s large intestine had become inflamed, which was causing the abdominal pain.
A CAT scan of her abdomen appeared to uncover a “linear foreign body in the stomach” that looked remarkably similar to a pen.
The plastic felt-tip was later successfully removed during surgery under general anaesthetic but doctors were astounded when they removed the pen undamaged and still in full working order.
As a joke they wrote the woman a note simply saying “hello”.