A man received the shock of a lifetime when he coughed out a "wriggling critter."
Phil Lyndon, 52, suffered from what he thought to simply be a bad cough. However, after coughing up a "large phlegm ball," he found that it was actually a 5-millimeter-long bug, the Daily Mirror reports.
Reports believe the creature to be a mayfly nymph.
Speculation now leads to him to believe he inhaled the creature while he slept.
“I’ve had a bad cough for a little while and went to the doctors last Thursday,” he told Get West London. “He gave me antibiotics and on Friday morning I coughed up what I thought was a big lump of phlegm into the toilet.
“I then looked a little closer as I could see something brown in it and it was wriggling,” he continued. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and fished it out. It had stopped moving by this point and I took a picture of it on my iPad. When I zoomed into the image I could clearly see that it was a bug.”
Concerned for his health, Lyndon went on to consult professionals.
“I was alarmed that there might have been something alive inside my lungs and knew instantly that it was not something I could ignore,” he said. “I went straight back to my [doctor] who immediately referred me to the University College London’s Hospital for Tropical Diseases.”
He was admitted to the hospital right away.
“They x-rayed my chest to check for any infestation which thank god was clear and took a blood test to check if there had been any changes due to the creature,” he said.
“Then they took it away to be looked at by a bug expert,” he added.
Lyndon, a graphic designer, emailed the photo of the creature to British Bugs who gave him a possible answer.
“It looks like a mangled mayfly nymph missing most of its legs (and other bits),” said an expert on the British Bugs website. "If so, it’s definitely not parasitic or anything of the sort.”
The expert continued, “More likely you accidentally ingested it sometime, perhaps while asleep - they’ll be coming out of water to emerge as adults around now, and sometimes end up on people’s ceilings.”
Despite the situation, Lyndon was able to poke fun at his misfortune, especially after he uploaded the photo to a Facebook group with his friends where there was an outpouring of comments.
He said, “Some however see the funny side and think it’s a shame that the bug was not able to vote on Thursday because he was stuck inside me!”