The incident at a Florida hospital was featured in an episode of the medical documentary Untold Stories of the ER. The unnamed mother thought she was doing best for her child because there was a beauty pageant in a couple of weeks and she wanted her to look her best.
But weeks later the girl is in agonising pain and a scan at the hospital shows there is something live in her tummy… and she is not pregnant. Shortly after being given a stomach drug to help diagnosis, the girl rushes to the toilet and, amid her screams, suddenly all is revealed. The toilet bowl is a seething mass of tapeworms.
Caught on camera, paediatric nurse Maricar Cabral-Osorio is clearly close to being sick as she tells viewers: “It was a toilet bowl full of tapeworms. Blegh! There were a couple that were very long and wiggling around trying to get out of the toilet bowl.”
The nurse adds: “We were wondering how did she get those tapeworms, and then you saw the mom turn white. She was apologizing to the girl. It’s like ‘I’m so sorry. You know, I did it just to make you a little skinnier. You needed some help before we went on to the pageant. “
Tapeoworms have been used for nearly 100 years to increase weight-loss, but doctors have warned the practice is extremely dangerous. Tapeworms attach themselves to the intestinal wall of its host and then absorb nutrients and calories.
Most people affected with tapeworms have no symptoms, while others may experience abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, diarrhea, weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss, vitamin deficiencies and malnutrition.