"Because normally if you swallow it goes down the other pipe and passes through you".
A British man was hoping for a misdiagnosis on a suspected cancer tumor, but he probably did not expect doctors to find a foreign object deep inside his lungs.
Paul, who lives in the village of Croston, Lancs., with his wife Helen, 46, said: "Doctors said they could see something orange down my throat but didn't know what it was".
These symptoms, along with the spread of a bacterial infection in the pockets of the lower right lung, led his team to believe that the man had a tumor, which needed prompt removal. They assume that since it was inhaled into the lining of the patient's lung while he was a child, the lung continued to develop around it as he grew.
"We are really pleased for him".
Luckily, removing the traffic cone appears to have done the trick.
"It has come out in ideal working order, you can even still see the markings".
In adults, detection can take much longer, yet only three cases have ever gone undetected for more than 20 years, according to the report. I had pneumonia when I was 18 and nothing was picked up then. "I wasn't aware of how serious it could have been".
A report in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) said the handyman told doctors he "regularly played with and even aspirated (inhaled) the toy pieces during his childhood". Baxter reported that everyone in the room "just fell about laughing" after the realization, but the incident was so unique that it was recorded in a medical journal.
"On a positive note, his symptoms improved markedly and he finally found his long lost Playmobil traffic cone in the very last place he would look".
This is the first report of an object -that was trapped in a patient's airways - being overlooked for such a long period of time, the authors of the case report wrote.
Doctors said, his symptoms lessened nearly immediately after the operation, which took place in 2015 when Paul was 47.
Although there is some permanent damage in the airway, the patient's persistent cough cleared up four months after the toy was removed.