Tags: sea | snail | knee

Sea Snail in Knee: Boy Finds Living Organism Under His Skin

Monday, 19 Aug 2013 07:07 AM

By Alexandra Ward

A tiny sea snail was discovered living in a 4-year-old California boy's knee after the child fell and scraped it while on vacation last month. Now, the critter has become the family's new pet.

Rachael Franklin of Aliso Viejo, Calif., wasn’t too worried when her son Paul stumbled on a rock during the family's camping trip to Spooner's Cove beach three weeks ago. She cleaned the wound, applied a topical antibiotic, and slapped a bandage on it.

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But days later when the scrape swelled up to the size of an orange, she rushed her son to the hospital. At first, Franklin said, the doctor thought it might be a staph infection.

"He was more freaked out than even I am," she told the Orange County Register. "It was no laughing matter, he told us. The infection could work its way into Paul's bloodstream and cause all kinds of problems. Thinking it might be the superbug, he washed his hands, and made us wash ours right on the spot."

The doctor prescribed a 10-day course of antibiotics and also advised them not to drain the swelling pus from Paul's knee.

But with one day left on the antibiotics and the wound not looking any better, Franklin worried Paul might be developing gangrene and decided to take matters into her own hands.

"I know the doctor didn't want to drain this," she said, "but this sucker needs to be drained!"

So she squeezed.

"You will never guess what popped out of that wound," she said. "A baby sea snail! He moved! There's a freakin' little guy in there! Bubbles were coming up."

"It was crazy!" Paul said.

Amazed, the Franklin family could offer no explanation besides that perhaps a sea snail egg got wedged in Paul's knee when he fell on vacation and began nesting and growing in there.

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The snail, named Turbo, now lives in a small fishbowl near the family's beta fish, Dory.

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