The 27-year-old, whose identity is unknown, was threatened with being sent back to South Sudan, the war-torn nation in Africa, it is believed. A Sudanese asylum seeker perforated his small intestine after swallowing a ballpoint pen in protest over UK police wanting to deport him.
Welsh doctors stumbled across the strange case when the man, who has lived in the UK since 2014, visited A&E with stomach pains. An Arabic translator revealed the patient’s discomfort worsened every time he ate or drank. He also endured bouts of vomiting.
MailOnline understands his entire medical care, which saw him spend two weeks in hospital, would have cost the NHS in the region of £14,000. The 27-year-old, whose identity is unknown, swallowed a blue ballpoint pen in protest over UK police wanting to deport him (stock)
The man, treated at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board in Newport, admitted to medics that he swallowed a blue pen two weeks before his pain began. ‘He reported the pain started after intentionally swallowing a ballpoint pen in protest against possible deportation,’ surgeons wrote in BMJ Case Reports.
They published what is believed to be the first case in English literature of a double perforation of the duodenum – the smallest part of the small intestine. The team, led by surgeon Dr Rami Radwan, explained how even single perforations of the organ caused by swallowing foreign bodies are rare.
The man spent two weeks in hospital following complex surgery to remove the pen, which is estimated to have cost the NHS around £5,600. Surgeons performed a laparotomy, where surgeons cut open his abdomen to have a better look at his internal organs, to remove the ballpoint pen. The procedure costs roughly £6,000.
Welsh surgeons published what is believed to be the first case in English literature of a double perforation of the duodenum – the smallest part of the small intestine. Psychiatrists thoroughly reviewed the patient, who was a heavy smoker and drinker, before the hospital discharged him back into the community.
The rest of his bill came from an A&E visit, believed to cost the NHS £80.55 and a £25 chest X-ray to determine his health. Blood tests racked up an estimated £100 fee, a psychiatric review costs around £300 privately and a gastroscopy – a procedure to examine the digestive tract – is likely to have cost £1,450.
The new case follows that of a similar incident published in the same journal in May, when a Syrian refugee swallowed his entire life-savings. The unidentified man ingested a packet of dollar bills, worth roughly £1,395 ($1,878), before embarking on his treacherous journey to the Netherlands.
Dutch doctors found the stash of money after he presented himself with symptoms of intense stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. Despite being submerged in stomach acid, surgeons found the notes were all still intact and considered in a good condition.
THE CATASTROPHIC CRISIS IN SOUTH SUDAN
South Sudan, described as being in a ‘catastrophic humanitarian crisis’, is being torn apart by a brutal civil war. Figures estimate around four million people have been forced to flee their homes since the devastating conflict began in 2013.
Observers also claim 10,659 people have been killed, with at least 80 aid workers having lost their lives in the civil war. The Government has poured roughly £100 million of its foreign aid budget into South Sudan this year to tackle the ‘unimaginable horrors’.
Hundreds of British troops have also been deployed to the war-torn nation to stave off the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis. The civil war began after South Sudan’s president accused his vice president of an attempted coup, according to Mercy Corps.
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011, the charity states on its website.