The Scary Chronicles: There’s Something Growing Inside Me

There are many things that have grown on or in us and as gross as it sounds, some of them play an important role in helping to maintain our health. Everything from fungi to bacteria can be found in and around the human body, but while it’s normal for them to be there, that’s not always the case. There have been occasions where people have been hospitalized because of uncommon pathogens or even other organisms growing inside them. Let’s take a look at some of the most unique and scary cases that we have come across. 

1. Chris Johnson’s Hand

Chris Johnson started to experience pain in his hand and what looked like a fingernail growing out of it. After taking a sample and sending it off to the lab, everyone was shocked by what it revealed. Mr. Johnson had barnacles growing from his hand. Doctors believed that a barnacle larva somehow managed to attach itself to a sheath around Chris’ tendon and began to grow. He recalled cutting his hand on a barnacle while working on a bait tank a few months prior. They contain a cement-like adhesive paste that is extremely difficult to get rid of. Chris requires surgery to have the barnacle removed. 

2. Ron Sveden’s Lung

In 2010, Ron Sveden began to experience severe chest pain unlike anything he’d ever felt. Rod already had emphysema and he told himself that it was cancer and accepted his fate. After one of his lungs collapsed, Ron sought medical attention so that the specialist could tell him what kind of cancer he had. An x-ray would later reveal that while there was something growing in his lungs, it wasn’t cancer… It was a pea plant. His doctor theorized that the pea had gone down the wrong tube, lodging itself inside of Ron’s lung. What the doctor did not expect was for it to sprout and grow into a tree. 

3. Pham Quang Lanh’s Head

In 2015, Vietnamese native Pham Quang Lanh was working in Malaysia when an iron bar fell off a building onto his head. He survived the incident thanks to a surgical team who implanted a titanium plate into his head. But as the days went on Lahn began to experience pain and swelling at the site where the plate was inserted. Thinking that it was just a minor infection, he did not seek medical attention until his family members noticed live maggots at the site. He had the site treated and it turns out that the maggots helped to stop the infection from spreading. 

4. Pat Lancaster

83-year-old Pat Lancaster died from a scabies infection that made its way around a care facility in Eugene, Oregon between 2013 and 2016. A scabies infection consists of tiny mites infecting the skin and causing extremely uncomfortable and painful sensation. Although it is treated by a topical ointment, there are certain groups of people who are more likely to struggle with such an infection. When Pat arrived at the hospital, doctors were surprised by how poorly she had been treated and claimed that they’d never seen an infection so deeply embedded. Pat and two others died, and the facility was faced with several lawsuits. 

5. Katie Holley’s Ear

We’ve all heard horror stories of cockroaches running over people, but have you ever heard of a cockroach making a home inside of a person? Well in 2018, Katie Holley was fast asleep when she felt something slide into her left ear. She woke up and tried to take it out by using a Q-tip, but it wasn’t until she felt it move that she realized it was something serious. She removed the Q-tip to find what looked like an insect’s leg on it. Katie took 9 days to remove the cockroach from her ear, but something still felt off. When she followed up with a doctor, he found more of the cockroach, finally putting an end to Katie’s nightmare.


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