Four years ago, Etienne Verhees broke two vertebrae falling off a ladder, after which doctors put a metal plate in his neck to help heal the wound.
This week, the Belgian coughed up one of four screws used to hold the plate in place.
“I have had a cold for the past few days,” Verhees told daily Gazet Van Antwerpen. “I had a terrible cough a few days ago. That’s when I suddenly felt something in my mouth.
“It turned out to be a screw.”
One of the doctors involved told the paper he assumed the screw had moved because of an infection Verhees suffered following a second operation, which caused his neck to swell.