A stone lodged in the ear of a little boy caused unexplained hearing loss in him and befuddled doctors. Now the boy is able to hear after the stone has dropped out.
Joe Binfield, who is now 10-years-old, was only five when he stuck the pebble in his left ear during a playground game at school.
His complains about pains and deafness to his mum Corinne, were not taken seriously as she thought that it had scratched his ear and fallen out.
The teachers in school told her that Joe could not hear properly and that he was falling behind in his class.
However no blockage could be found despite ten visits to his GP and the hospital. The mystery was later solved when a sharp-edged stone the size of a fingernail plopped out of his lughole.
"Joe was complaining of earache so I decided to investigate," The Sun quoted mum-of-three Corinne, of Brailsford, Derbys, as saying.
"I spotted what I thought was hard wax in the base of his ear.
"I bathed it with warm water and kept his head tilted and the thing began to move.
"Suddenly it popped out and a black stone landed on the kitchen surface. Joe felt a bit sick for a time but now his hearing is fine.
"I cried tears of joy because I was so happy," she added.
Corinne also showed the stone to the doctors, who apologized for missing it during the examination.
"I've been to the doctor's surgery and showed them the stone. They apologised profusely," she stated.
"I'm just glad Joe has no lasting damage," she added.
Joe on the other hand has vowed to keep the stone so that he can show it to his children.
"I'll keep the stone to show my kids when I grow up and warn them about sticking things in their ears," he said.