The Perth, Australia doctor who removed a watermelon plant from the lower intestine of a 52-year-old Kalgoorlie man says he believes it’s the first case of its kind in medical history.
Dr. Adam Hale, chief of endoscopy services at Royal Perth Hospital, believes the plant sprouted from a seed that became inbedded in the man’s intestinal wall. “None of my colleagues have ever seen anything like it,” he said. “I contacted a friend in the biology department at UWestern [University of Western Australia] and he was baffled as well. He didn’t believe it was possible until he saw it.”
The biologist, Dr. Earnest Williams, is examining the plant, which has two sprouts measuring six centimeters in length, with his graduate assistant.
The patient, dubbed Watermelon Man by the hospital staff, believes he ate the seed during a January visit to Cuenca, Ecuador. “The last time I ate watermelon was in Ecuador,” the man, who asked not to be identified, told a Perth radio station. “My friends in Cuenca say that you just throw seeds on the ground there and plants pop up. Now I know that they pop up in other places too.”
The man added that before the endoscopic procedure to remove the plant he had nightmares that he would bear fruit. “Can you imagine pooping a watermelon?” he asked.
Dr. Hale told a local newspaper that, in the future, he will take special care to spit out seeds when he eats fruit.