A 47-year old UK recently discovered a toy that he used to play with when he was 7. The man, who’s a smoker, started having coughing issues and went to a doctor after coughing up yellow mucous.
Doctors operated on the man and discovered a Playmobil toy traffic cone lodged in his lungs that he swallowed decades before.
The man “reported that he regularly played with and even swallowed pieces of Playmobil during his childhood,” doctors wrote in BMJ Case Reports.
While it’s not uncommon for children to ingest small toys, doctors say it’s the first time they’ve heard of one going undetected for so long. They speculate that because the man inhaled the cone so young, his airway “was able to remodel and adapt to the presence of this foreign body.”
It was eventually absorbed into the lung lining, where it remained undetected until last year.