A Chinese carpenter is recovering in hospital after swallowing a six inch nail – three times.
Li Xiangyang, 48, of Huangshi, Hubei Province, was holding the nail between his teeth when he suddenly coughed and swallowed it.
He was taken to the nearby Wuhan University Hospital in where doctors x-rayed him and found the nail was in his right lung.
Realising it had to be removed immediately, Professor Hu Ke fed a fibre-optic bronchoscope down his throat to pull it out.
But, just as he was on the verge of pulling the nail out of his mouth, Li coughed again and sucked it back down his throat.
This time it ended up in his left lung. Professor Hu tried again but, at the last minute, Li involuntarily swallowed and the nail disappeared again.
Doctors couldn’t find the nail in either lung and eventually realised that it was now in his stomach where it was finally removed with a gastroscope clamp.