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13 True Medical Stories That Will Make You Gasp, "OH MY GOD!"

The human body is a weird thing.

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1. A man was admitted into the ER complaining of being drunk without having a sip of alcohol. It was discovered that the man was unintentionally brewing beer in his gut. The 61-year-old man, who had a history of home-brewing, had built up yeast in his stomach. So when he ate starch-heavy foods, the yeast fermented the sugars into ethanol. The man was essentially a living, breathing human brewery.

3. On Feb. 19, 1994, Gloria Ramirez was admitted into the ER, covered in an oily sheen, with a garlic-like odor coming from her mouth. Upon drawing blood, they noticed a strange smell radiating from the tube. Staff members started feeling ill, and an evacuation of the hospital was ordered. Twenty-three people fell ill, five of them requiring hospitalization. The official cause of death was ruled as kidney failure. After an investigation, there were many theories and hypotheses for what happened, but no concrete evidence.


4. When President James A. Garfield was shot on July 2, 1881, doctors believed the bullet had penetrated his intestines. As a result, they insisted the president be fed rectally. The president consumed a variety of food items including beef bouillon, egg yolks, milk, whiskey, and drops of opium, all through his rectum. This unhealthy diet, along with unsanitary medical practices, led to the president's death on Sept. 19, 1881.

5. In 1917, 18-year-old Adam Rainer measured 4 foot 6.3 inches. Due to a tumor in his pituitary gland, by the age of 32 he had a growth spurt that put him at 7 foot 2 inches. Surgeries to remove the tumor were unsuccessful. By the time he died in 1950, at the age of 51, he was 7 foot 8 inches. He is considered the only person in recorded history to be both a dwarf and giant.

6. In Scottsdale, Arizona, Dawn Becerra ate a pork taco while in Mexico. She became ill for three weeks and began suffering from violent seizures. Doctors discovered a parasitic worm lodged in her brain. Because the worm was in a sensitive area of the brain, Becerra had to be conscious throughout the six-hour surgery to remove the worm.

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According to Dr. Joseph Sirven, Becerra ingested a parasite that attached itself as an egg on her intestinal wall. The egg developed into a worm, that moved through her blood stream and into her brain. The worm itself doesn't cause much harm. But when it dies and decays, the body treats it like something foreign, and can inflame the surrounding tissue.

7. In 1754, Ewen MacDonald was sentenced to death by hanging in Newcastle. After being hanged, his body was ordered to be dissected and anatomized. When surgeons were preparing his body for dissection, to everyone's surprise, MacDonald sat up "and immediately begged for mercy." One of the surgeons grabbed a wooden mallet and killed him, again, on the spot.


8. In 2003, Holly Marie Adams had sex with identical twins Raymon and Richard Miller on the same day, hours apart. She then got pregnant. Holly originally named Raymon the father, but he contested. So a paternity test was done, which revealed that BOTH men had over 99.9% probability of being the father.

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According to Dr. Bob Guiles, a paternity testing expert, "There is simply no test that explains the difference between two identical twins."

The courts have ruled Raymon as the father, and he is expected to continue paying child support despite the ambiguity. He continues to fight the case.

9. In 1984, a woman in England claimed that hallucinatory voices told her she had a brain tumor. The woman, who had no previous illnesses, was treated for hallucinatory psychosis. She continued to hear the voices that insisted she needed a brain scan. According to the British Medical Journal, the voices allegedly told her the exact location of her tumor. Her request for a scan was granted, and a tumor was found exactly where the voices had told her it would be.

10. In 2013, a 66-year-old Chinese man visited a doctor, complaining of intense abdominal pain. Upon further examination, it was discovered that the man, who was 4 foot 5 inches, had a beard and a penis with "no detectable testicles," was genetically a female. He had the internal organs of a female and the pain was caused by a large, benign ovarian cyst.

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According to doctors, the patient had a combination of Turner syndrome and congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). There have been only six documented cases where the patient had both conditions.

11. A 19-year-old man in Virginia drank a quart of soy sauce on a dare. He started convulsing and foaming at the mouth. Within two hours, he was in an emergency room at a local hospital, unresponsive to pain and verbal commands. He eventually slipped into a three-day coma. When doctors measured his blood sodium level, it was the highest they had ever seen in an "adult who survived intoxication without lasting neurological problems."

12. In 1809, 45-year-old Jane Todd Crawford was misdiagnosed by two physicians who told her she was pregnant with twins. A third doctor, Dr. Ephraim McDowell, offered a different diagnosis: He believed that Crawford had a large ovarian tumor and offered to remove it in an experimental surgery that had never been performed before. Without the use of anesthetics or antibiotics, McDowell removed a 22-pound ovarian tumor in the first-ever ovariotomy. Crawford recovered from the operation and died at age 78.

13. In 2012, an Iranian man decided to tattoo the phrase "good luck on your journeys" in Persian script on the side of his penis. After the pain had subsided, the man noticed his erections were lasting longer than usual. One week later, he had a permanent erection that wouldn't go away. Doctors determined that the tattoo had damaged vessels in the penis, causing non-ischemic priapism. After several treatments, the man gave up and decided to live with his permanently erect penis.