We’ve all heard of having a frog in your throat, but what about a snail in your leg? Believe it or not, that’s the medical situation that happened to Paul Franklin, a 4-year-old boy from Aliso Viejo, California whose parents were shocked to find that a sea snail had been living in their son’s knee for nearly a month.
It all started with a family trip to the beach during which Paul fell and scraped his knee. His parents, Ken and Rachael, thought little of it and simply washed off the wound and put a bandage on it. A couple of weeks later, however, the wound not only hadn’t healed, but it had gotten worse. It had swollen to the size of an orange and was hot to the touch. On top of that, Paul was limping and had developed a fever.
Fearing it could be a serious medical situation like a staph infection, Paul’s parents took him to a doctor, who prescribed antibiotics but still couldn’t confirm the cause of the swelling. While the drugs reduced the boy’s fever, the swelling didn’t go down, and more frightening, it seemed to be turning black. That was the last straw for Rachael, who decided to drain the lump.
When she squeezed it, she was surprised to see a small, hard, black object pop out. At first, she thought it was a rock, but upon closer inspection, she realized it was a baby snail. It turns out that when Paul scraped his knee, he landed on a sea snail egg that became embedded in the wound. Amazingly, it didn’t die inside the boy’s body, but rather continued to grow and developed into a snail that, upon being removed from the knee and placed into water, confirmed it was still alive by moving around. Paul is keeping it as a pet and has named it Turbo, after the lead character in the animated movie about a super-charged snail.
As gross as the experience was, Paul’s parents are just happy they found the source of his discomfort, and his medical health is currently back to normal. Paul’s reaction? “I thought it was kind of crazy,” he said.
(Sources: CBS, CNN)