A firefighter almost died after getting popcorn stuck between his teeth.
Adam Martin, from Cornwall in the UK, needed life-saving open heart surgery after an infection ended up destroying the inner lining of his heart.
The 41-year-old was sharing a bag of popcorn with his wife while watching a film in September; when a stubborn piece got lodged in his gum, he attempted to remove it with a pen lid, then a toothpick, then a piece of wire, then a metal nail — one of which caused a near-fatal cut.
A week later he began suffering night sweats and headaches, which he thought was the flu; he went to his doctor and was diagnosed with a mild heart murmur, and sent home.
But his symptoms continued to worsen and a week after that he was taken to hospital, where the full extent of his condition was revealed: endocarditis, a potentially-deadly infection of the inner lining of heart chambers and valves.
The father-of-three was rushed to surgery and underwent a seven hour procedure, as surgeons operated on two of his heart valves; they managed to repair his mitral valve, but had to completely replace his aortic valve.
He also required another five hour surgery to remove an infected blood clot, wedged in his femoral artery in his leg.
“The doctors told me if I hadn’t gone to the GP when I did then I could have been dead in three days,” he said, per the Daily Mirror.
“The infection had eaten my heart valves completely. I am never eating popcorn again that’s for sure.”
“My heart was essentially wrecked,” he added. “If I had gone to the dentist then none of this would have happened.”
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