08/20/2012 04:36 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Lee Gardner's Plastic Fork Surgically Removed From His Stomach 10 Years Later (PHOTOS)

Ten years ago, Lee Gardner was fine with forks. Heck, the UK man was so fond of the utensils, he even used to eat with them.

That is, until his darkest forking hour.

One day, BBC reports that Gardner was "playing around" with a disposable plastic fork in his mouth when he gagged, somehow sending the instrument straight down his throat and into his belly.

He went to a doctor. But his the doctor told him to let the fork pass. He was told he'd be fine.

Ten years passed, and he forgot about his ailment.

Gardner, 40, was recently taken to a South Yorkshire hospital with severe stomach pains blood in his vomit. Doctors operated, and found the 9-inch fork lodged inside him, scratching against his stomach lining.

PHOTO of Gardner's fork, post-operation (Story continues below):
lee gardner fork

"I can't believe it. I have never had any problems with my stomach except once a couple of years ago I remember thinking I felt like something had lodged when I bent over awkwardly," he told the BBC. "But the advice at the time was that it would just pass through my system, and as that was so many years before I really didn't think it could be the fork."

But it was. The fork's tines had left a bad ulcer on his stomach that led to the bleeding, the Daily Mail reports.

Doctors were baffled by the find, and it took 45 minutes to surgically extract the fork.

"If something does get lodged, then normally a patient would become ill almost immediately. This is why Lee’s case is so uncharacteristic," a consultant at Barnsley Hospital told the site. "The plastic had been exposed to stomach acid for ten years but apart from it being black, there was no damage. It didn’t melt it down or anything which is remarkable."

PHOTO of Gardner's fork, STILL INSIDE HIM (Story continues below):
lee gardner fork

Gardner is expected to make a full recovery.

And speaking of eating eating utensils, a Georgia woman swallowed a knife earlier this month to show her friends that she no longer had a gag reflex.



Wild X-Rays And Medical Photos