Man Swallows 40 Knives on Purpose, Lives to Tell the Tale

42-year-old Jarnail Singh was recently admitted to The Corporate Hospital in Gurdaspur, India, after complaining of severe stomach pains and general weakness. What he failed to mention was that he had voluntarily swallowed 40 sharp metal knives over the past couple of months.

After asking Singh a few questions and performing the routine checkup, doctors were puzzled about the cause of the pain, so they did an ultrasound. That revealed a large solid mass in the man’s stomach, which led medical staff to believe he was suffering from cancer. To confirm the diagnostic, they performed a gastroscopy – inserting an endoscopic camera in his stomach. The mass appeared metallic and doctors could identify shard of blades and wood, which was very unusual.


Photos: Dinesh Dubey

So they asked him if he had swallowed any knives recently, by any chance. To their surprise, Singh said he had developed a habit of swallowing knives and that he had so far ingested 28 of them. The doctors were flabbergasted and scheduled him for emergency surgery. In the end, it turned out that the man had lost count of how many knives he had swallowed, as doctors retrieved no less than 40 blades from his bowels.

“This was very unnerving, I have not witnessed something like this in my career as a doctor,” said Dr. Jitinder Malhotra, who added that the five-hour procedure he and his colleagues performed to remove the 40 sharp blades was the most dreadful surgery he’s done in two decades of practice. Luckily for Jarnail Singh, the operation was a success and he will be discharged from the hospital in the next few days.


Photo: ANI video screengrab

When asked why on Earth he would voluntarily swallow not one, not two, but 40 metal knives, the man said he first got the urge to eat them while recuperating from a car accident. “I felt like eating knives and ate them,” the man told reporters, while recovering from the life-saving surgery. He apparently liked the taste so much that he kept swallowing them for the next two months. How they didn’t perforate his intestines is beyond my comprehension, though. He would definitely make a fine candidate for the title of world’s luckiest man.

After hearing his story, doctors diagnosed him as suffering from a rare condition known as “PICA”. Sufferers experience an uncontrollable urge to eat all kinds of things with no nutritional value, from sand to soap and even sponges.


via Times of India