Plastic piece removed from man's lung

It had rested since he apparently inhaled it nearly two years ago while sucking down a soft drink at a Wendy’s restaurant.

Doctors at Duke University Medical Centre say the plastic fragment of an eating utensil —with the Wendy’s logo still legible on the side — was likely to blame for the coughing, fatigue and pneumonia spells that plagued John Manley for almost two years. They pulled the fast-food foreign object from Manley’s left lung during a September 10 surgery. The 50-year-old Wilmington resident said he probably inhaled it while gulping a drink from the restaurant. Manley said he and his wife were puzzled by his bouts of illness after moving to the North Carolina coastal city from Queens, New York, about two years ago. He met many doctors, who eventually determined there was a foreign object in his left lung. But they could not figure out what it was or the best way to remove it.

“One doctor said they could remove my lung,” Manley said.

Manley’s case eventually came to the attention of Dr Momen Wahidi, director of interventional pulmonology at Duke. Wahidi told Manley he would try extracting the object using a rigid bronchoscope. The procedure would allow Wahidi to insert a camera and other instruments to examine and remove the mystery object.

Wahidi said he still remembers his staff’s amazement in the operating room when they pulled it out. “We were looking at it and realising that there are letters on it... We started reading out loud, ‘A-M-B-U-R-G-E-R’, and realised it spelled, ‘hamburgers’.

“Everybody was shocked. We had no clue why something that said, ‘hamburgers’ would be in someone’s lung,” he said.

They had read a side of the plastic that spelled Wendy’s motto of ‘Old Fashioned Hamburgers’.

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