A MAN who swallowed a nine inch-long plastic dinner fork, had no idea what was causing his intense stomach pain.
Lee Gardner, aged 40, from Cudworth, swallowed the fork over a decade ago.
He had been leaning on a chair playing with the cutlery in his mouth when he accidentally swallowed it.
But after being told by a doctor at the time that the fork would ‘pass through naturally’ - he forgot about it until he fell ill and was admitted to Barnsley Hospital.
Medics used a camera to look for a cause for his pain and found the fork - still intact - in Lee’s stomach.
The fork head was resting in Lee’s stomach with the handle protruding into his small bowel.
Its prongs had pressed on the stomach lining, causing an ulcer.
Hanis Shiwani, consultant general surgeon at Barnsley, decided to extract the fork by carrying out a 45-minute operation.
He said Lee could have suffered a fatal infection if the fork had remained in his stomach.
He added: “Technically it was not a challenging operation, but it was exciting, because it’s not something we have done before. Coins, nails, pins and batteries are common things people swallow. but not a fork.” Lee is expected to make a full recovery following his ordeal.