A retired construction worker, Derek Kirchen, 67, who had suffered pneumonia eight times and experienced recurring pass-outs, had perplexed the doctors who were at their wits end, making sense of the symptoms and providing answers. When the X-rays and tests did not offer any clues, doctors had cautioned Kirchen that the symptoms may be signs of lung cancer.
But during a minor surgery, Dr Syed Tariq, a respiratory physician, stumbled upon a nut, safely ensconced in Kirchen's left lung. The doctor, used the assistance of a camera probe inserted into the patient's throat and right into the lungs, which detected a mysterious black blob. The blob was pulled out using an instrument resembling a claw that was attached to the camera.
Derek Kirchen , absolutely flummoxed, but greatly relieved said 'I just don't know how it got there. It's a complete mystery. When I came round all the nurses were giggling, as they couldn't believe it was a nut. I can't remember choking on a nut. It's ironic really as I don't even like the darned things.'
A hospital spokesman said 'This does happen from time to time. People choke on nuts and, without realizing, part of it gets stuck in their lung. It causes similar symptoms to pneumonia.'