Li, the 51-year-old man, was admitted to the No.3 People's Hospital of Shenzhen in Guangdong province with abdominal pain in late June. When the CT Scan revealed a strange item in his stomach, Li admitted to having swallowed a toothbrush in an attempt to commit suicide 20 years ago. His motive to attempt suicide was that he had contracted HIV following the usage of drugs. After the failed suicide he went on with his life. He put aside the uncomfortable episode. He quit drugs, took HIV treatment, got married, and had two healthy children.
The toothbrush remained in his belly until 2014. Then it gave him abdominal pain and inflammation. Doctor Liu Jialin, Li's surgeon, said that the toothbrush had stayed in the stomach and duodenum before sticking into the bile duct. This had caused inflammation and pain. If not treated, the toothbrush could have touched the liver resulting in a fatal infection.
Li's surgeon, Liu removed the toothbrush using an endoscope. The toothbrush did not have bristles, that had probably been dissolved in the stomach.
Li said that he had forgotten the episode thinking the toothbrush had got expelled on its own.
Doctors at the No.3 People's Hospital said that the toothbrush is the strangest item doctor's have found in a patient's intestine along with nails, coins, and lighters.