When Emma Whittington noticed a strange swelling on her 7-month-old’s neck in December 2012, she called her husband Aaron at work to ask if she should take Mya to the hospital.
The couple decided to wait, presuming that the swelling would subside on its own, ABC News reports. When the pair checked on Mya the next morning, however, her neck had enlarged to twice the size, with what appeared to be a pimple forming at the end.
Seeing their child in pain, Aaron and Emma rushed her to the emergency room. Hospital workers initially identified the redness and swelling as an infection, but when they tried to drain the protuberance in her neck nothing came out.
Doctors were left stunned when Mya’s parents saw “a string” bulging from the “pimple” on her neck. Her pediatrician put on a pair of gloves and started to pull out the “string” as Mya barely shed a tear.
“She’s like, ‘It’s a feather,'” Aaron told ABC News. “And we’re like, ‘What do you mean it’s a feather?’ And she showed us.”
(Feather poking out from Mya's neck. Photo Credit: Whittington family via ABC News)
It was assumed that Mya either inhaled or attempted to swallow a 2-inch-long black feather, and it ended up getting stuck in her throat. Her small body rejected the feather and pressed it through the side of her neck as a way to cure itself.
Aaron and Emma said Mya had been fretting and pulling at her ear, but they assumed she was either teething or suffering from an earache. In the end, it was her way of expressing to her parents that she had a feather stuck in her throat.
Fortunately, the baby was able to heal the rest of the way without requiring surgery on her neck. Mya is now "almost 100 percent recovered," according to Aaron.