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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Israeli Woman Swallows Cockroach, Fork

July 10, 2003

It’s the bizarre, nightmarish stuff of a child’s nursery rhyme: An Israeli woman swallowed a cockroach and right after it, down went a fork she used to try to fish the critter out of her throat.

A winged cockroach jumped into the woman’s mouth as she was cleaning her home in a village in northern Israel this week. And as the story goes, the 32-year-old woman tried to scoop the bug out with a fork but swallowed it as well.

“It’s a bit of a strange story,” said Dr. Nikola Adid, who operated on the woman on Tuesday to remove the fork from her stomach – the bug was already digested. “This is the first time I’ve ever encountered anything like this. None of my medical colleagues in this country have heard of anything similar either.”

An X-ray showed the fork, lodged sideways in her stomach.

Adid, a surgeon at the Poria Hospital in Tiberias, on the Sea of Galilee, removed the fork with laparoscopic surgery, a minimally invasive procedure performed through a tiny incision a patient’s abdomen.

The woman is recovering well, Adid said – better off than the old woman of the children’s rhyme:

“There was an old woman who swallowed a fly. I don’t know why she swallowed a fly. Perhaps she’ll die.”