Kenya: Toothbrush removed from man’s stomach

David Charo brushing his teeth
David Charo brushing his teeth

David Charo, the Kenyan man who accidentally swallowed a toothbrush before having it removed in hospital, has been speaking to the privately-owned Daily Nation newspaper.

He said that the incident happened as he prepared to go to work on 1 April.

“As I was brushing my teeth and tongue near the throat, I swallowed the toothbrush which was lodged in my throat,” he said.

“When I opened my mouth my brother could see it, but he couldn’t remove it since I was in pain. As I was being rushed to the hospital on a boda boda [motorcyle taxi], it continued sinking until it got stuck in my stomach. I could feel it.”

Mr Charo said that many people thought that he was pulling an April Fool’s prank while others suspected witchcraft.

Doctors in the main public hospital in the coastal city of Mombasa retrieved the toothbrush using endoscopy.

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The hospital’s chief administrator Iqbal Khandwalla told Daily Nation: “We decided to use endoscopy because it is less dangerous, has shorter recovery time, less time-consuming, less painful and it’s a modern way of treatment.”

Doctors say that Mr Charo is now eating and walking without difficulty.

He had survived during his first five days in hospital on water, milk and porridge.

“We have never removed a toothbrush endoscopically. It could be the first in Kenya,” Dr Khandwalla told the Daily Nation.

“Unlike coins which can pass through the bowel, once a toothbrush hits the stomach, it cannot pass through the valve which leads to the bowel. Therefore, it blocks it,” he added.

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