Inhaled pea sprouts in man's lung

Inhaled pea sprouts in man's lung

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by Ryan Schulties / WBBH, NBC affiliate

WBBH, NBC affiliate

Posted on August 10, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 12 at 7:50 AM

BREWSTER, Mass. -- Doctors in Massachusetts thought the growth in Ron Sveden's lung was a tumor, but when they looked closer they found an unbelievable surprise.

"I was told I had a pea seed in my lung that had split and had sprouted," said Sveden.

It was not the diagnosis he was expecting. He had prepared himself to hear the words "cancer" and "tumor," but a plant growing in his lung?

"Probably about a half-an-inch, which is a pretty big thing of course," said Sveden.

Sveden had been sick for months. He was already fighting emphysema when his health took a turn for the worse.

"I was not doing too well, a lot of coughing. I was very listless," said Sveden.

On Memorial Day, Sveden's wife called 911, and he was rushed to a hospital where doctors took X-rays and found his left lung collapsed.

For two weeks they ran tests but they all came back negative for cancer, until one doctor found the plant growing in his lung.

"Whether this would have gone full-term and I'd be working for the jolly green giant, I don't know. I think the thing that finally dawned on me is that it wasn't the cancer," said Sveden.

Sveden said he never felt anything growing in his chest, just a lot of coughing.

Doctors suspect he had eaten a pea at some point in the last couple of months and it went down the wrong way, and then began to grow.

"One of the first meals I had in the hospital after the surgery had peas for the vegetable. I laughed to myself and ate them," said Sveden.

His wife, Nancy, was beyond happy with this strange twist of fate.

"God has such a sense of humor. It could have been just nothing, but it had to be a pea, and it had to be sprouting," said Nancy Sveden.

Ron Sveden continues to recover at home.

Friends and neighbors have had fun with this; they sent him pea seeds and canned peas all in good fun.

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