Neha Begum, a 22-year-old woman from Chandauli, India was rushed to the hospital when she experienced extreme abdominal pain and vomiting for over a month. The doctors examined her abdominal area and found a massive obstruction, so they scheduled her for surgery. They found something that shocked them more than anything they had ever seen in their entire careers.
The team of doctors and nurses at KG Nanda hospital found close to 150 worms inside her stomach. As they pulled each one, they found that some of the 10-inch worms were still alive. The surgery took over 5 hours to complete and doctors found that some of the worms were tightly wrapped around her intestines.
“I was shocked. This was an extremely unusual case,” said Dr. Anand Prakash Tiwari, a doctor at the hospital. “We have come across cases with three or four worms but this is the first time we have come across such a huge number.”
Tapeworms make their way inside our bodies through a variety of sources including uncooked meat, unwashed vegetables and dirty water. The tapeworm turns their eggs into a cyst, a protective capsule that encloses the larva until it finds a host. After it’s consumed by a human, they grow into adult worms, latching onto intestines, lungs, the heart and even the brain, which can be fatal.
Dr. Tiwari said that the worms in her body formed due to an unhygienic lifestyle. He took the opportunity to remind people to always wash their vegetables diligently, and to make sure the meat they eat is thoroughly cooked.
Begum said that all previous physicians had sent her home with nothing but pain medication. The pain was so extreme on some occasions that she spent several weeks without sleeping or eating properly. She was very grateful to the doctors who performed the operation.
The 22-year-old recovered within a few weeks of the surgery, according to The Mirror. She was even able to eat a normal meal for the first time in months.