Indian Doctors Shocked After Discovering That Poverty-Stricken Woman Had Been Eating Plastic to Survive

A team of doctors who recently performed surgery on an elderly woman suffering from severe gastrointestinal problems, were shocked to discover that her stomach was clogged with plastic threads that she had been eating for lack of actual food.

Tara Devi, a 52-year-old deaf-mute woman from the Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh, India, was brought to the emergency room of the regional hospital in Solan by a local who had noticed she was ill and suffering great pain. After running a series of tests, doctors spotted a sort of spherical mass tuck in her stomach, which they assumed was a large ball of hair and recommended immediate surgery to remove it. However, during the procedure, doctors discovered that what they had believed to be hair was actually a ball of tangled plastic threads from plastic gunny bags. Some of the plastic threads that formed the bird nest-like mass clogging up the woman’s intestines were reportedly up to 7-feet long.

Photo: Himachal Watcher

Since the woman was unable to hear or speak, finding out how so much plastic found its way into her stomach proved a difficult task. However, the person who brought her to the hospital told the Himachal Watcher that Tara Devi is very poor, lives by herself and has no has no social support. She had apparently been consuming plastic threads and bags out of hunger, for years, and she had recently developed a condition where her appetite disappeared completely and her limbs began to swell. The Tribune reports that since July 2016, the woman could only take water in her diet.

Luckily, the operation to remove the plastic from Devi’s stomach was a success, and her condition is improving.


We’ve seen people consume all sorts of weird things over the years, like this man who swallowed 40 knives and lived to tell the tale, or this girl addicted to eating soap, but these were cases of PICA – a rare condition that causes people to eat various non-nutritive substances. In Devi’s case, it was caused by poverty and hunger.

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