Firefighter Got Popcorn Stuck In His Teeth—And It Led To Him Needing Emergency Open-Heart Surgery
A firefighter needed open-heart surgery when he got a potentially-fatal blood infection–after getting POPCORN stuck in his teeth.
Adam Martin, 41, was “on death's door" after the deadly infection attacked his heart and left him fighting for his life.
He contracted an infection called endocarditis after he struggled to dislodge the piece of popcorn stuck between his teeth.
Endocarditis occurs when germs from another part of your body, such as the mouth, spread through the bloodstream and damage areas of the heart.
Doctors quizzed him about a possible cause and the only thing Adam could think might have caused the infection was his constant wiggling and poking at the food lodged in his teeth.
Adam said he stuck everything from a pen lid, tooth pick, a piece of wire, and even a metal nail in his mouth in a desperate attempt to remove the popcorn.
The constant playing around with his mouth caused toothache after he damaged his gum, but instead of going to the dentist, he did nothing.
A week later Adam developed night sweats, fatigue, headaches and eventually a heart murmur, which are all signs of the infection.
Father-of-three Adam, from Coverack, Cornwall, England, said:
“The doctors told me if I hadn't gone to the GP when I did then I could have been dead in three days."
“Most people die when they are at 350 on an infection scale and I was at 340. The infection had eaten my heart valves completely."
“If I had gone to the dentist in the first place then none of this would have happened. At one point it was quite touch and go. It was the worst experience of my life."
“I wasn't far off death's door and I am extremely lucky. The popcorn stuck in my teeth is the only possible cause I can think of. I am never eating popcorn again that's for sure."
Adam's life-threatening ordeal started when he shared a bag of popcorn while watching a film with his wife, Helen, 38, at the end of September.
The popcorn stuck in a tooth in the back left of his mouth, drove him crazy for three days, and, no matter how hard he tried, he could not dislodge it.
Adam admits he played around with his gums using random things he found lying around to dislodge it.
A week later Adam developed what appeared to be a cold, which then turned into what was assumed to be flu, and on October 7 he went to his doctor.
The doctors diagnosed a mild heart murmur and sent him for blood tests and x-rays, which came back showing nothing more significant than slightly raised inflammation markers.
Adam was sent home with medication to recover under his own steam, but a few days later, he was still experiencing flu-like symptoms.
He also developed a blood blister on his toe - which was later diagnosed as a Janeway lesion, an external indication of infective endocarditis.
Endocarditis is an infection of the endocardium, which is the inner lining of the heart chambers and heart valves.
It can lead to bacteria spreading through the bloodstream and damaging areas in the heart. If it's not treated quickly, endocarditis can damage or destroy heart valves.
Worried about his worsening current condition, Adam went to the Royal Cornwall Hospital on October 18.
“I had a feeling there was something seriously wrong. I was sleeping an awful lot and I felt terrible.
“I had aches and pains in my legs and I just did not feel right at all. I was admitted to hospital the same day for tests. By this point I was very worried."
“I felt quite ill and I knew I was not right at all."
The muscle ache in his leg turned out to be an infected clot, wedged in his femoral artery which required a five-hour operation to clear.
Adam was being treated with medication to fight the infection, but chest scans revealed his heart had been severely damaged - and would need an urgent operation.
He was transferred to Derriford Hospital on October 21 and had a seven-hour open-heart surgery to replace his aortic valve and repair his mitral valve, damaged by the infection.
“My heart was not properly working anymore. It was essentially wrecked. The infection had eaten the valves away."
“I should have just gone to the dentist in the first place. I don't want anyone to go through what I have done."
“It all happened so quickly and it did get sketchy. I won't be going near popcorn again, that's for sure."
“It's crazy to think all this happened because of that. It was something so trivial."
Adam made a quick recovery following surgery and returned home to his wife, Helen, and three children Megan, 15, Holly, 14 and George, seven, at the end of October.
Teaching assistant Helen said:
“Any sign of toothache, bleeding gums, abscess–get it checked out!"
“It is also well worth noting the date in case you get 'flu like symptoms.' If Adam's infection was caught earlier it could have been treated with antibiotics."
“Your gums are a bacterial highway to your heart."
*A version of this article orginally appeared on SWNS, and was written by Jack Longstaff and Emma Ferguson
Anyone who enjoyed watching movies as a kid likely had their favorite films they liked to pick from.
But those who have revisited some of those childhood favorites may have discovered there was more awaiting them in the film as an adult.
Redditor phantom_avenger asked:
"What's considered a 'kids' movie' but is still very enjoyable to watch as an adult?"
The Princess Bride
"'The Princess Bride.'"
"Is this a kissing movie?"
The LEGO Movie
"'The LEGO Movie.'"
"I didn't see this for the first time until I was already in my 20s and found it hilarious."
"The part where he reads, 'spend time with those who are special in your life,' and it cuts to him watching TV with a potted plant had me in hysterics as a guy who has way more plants than friends, lol (laughing out loud)."
Kung Fu Panda
"'Kung Fu Panda' is elite for any age."
"The whole trilogy is just a masterpiece, and honestly a must-watch for all."
"'Hook' with Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman."
"Watching 'Hook' as an adult is a totally different experience because, in many ways, I’d argue, it’s FOR adults. It’s about the importance of reconnecting with your inner child and how that can allow you to really connect with your own children, and even to have a more fulfilling life."
"This line hits me like a ton of bricks now as a father of three and it gets serious real quick."
"Moira Banning: 'Your children love you, they want to play with you. How long do you think that lasts? Soon Jack may not even want you to come to his games. We have a few special years with our children when they're the ones that want us around.'"
"'After that, you're going to be running after them for a bit of attention. It's so fast, Peter. It's a few years, and it's over. And you are not being careful. And you are missing it.'"
"Wall-E isn't just a great kids' movie. It's an incredible movie all around. The engaging storytelling is entirely visual for the first half without any dialogue. Many directors or writers would struggle to recreate anything of similar quality. It's an effing masterpiece."
How to Train Your Dragon
"'How to Train Your Dragon.'"
"The first time we saw 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' in theaters and when Stoick died, I balled my eyes out, especially because they just had the previous scene of him reuniting with his wife with him saying, 'You're as beautiful as the day I lost you.'"
"The 'How to Train Your Dragon' trilogy is one of my husband's favorites, and so we watch them often, and I still tear up at both parts in part two."
"Looking back, I realized the 'Shrek' franchise was really just Dad movies disguised as kid movies."
"It's even funnier when you learn that the guys who made it were ex-Disney employees, and the entire movie was a giant middle finger to Disney. Lord Farqauaad represented Disney's CEO, Mike Eisner."
"My sister is having a 'Shrek'-themed bachelorette party in August, and I cannot explain how excited I am for it. It’s her 'bachelor-Shrek' weekend!"
"The quality of the animation is ridiculous."
"The toad hanging off the side of a wagon whilst single-handedly reloading and firing his gun at bats ridden by mole people is peak cinema."
The Addams Family
"'The Addams Family' and 'Addams Family Values' were an integral component of my childhood."
"'You have gone too far. You have married Fester, you have destroyed his spirit, you have taken him from us. All that I could forgive. But, Debbie...'
The Muppets Treasure Island
"'The Muppets Treasure Island.' It gets better every time."
"'Sailing for adventure on the big blue wet thing!'"
Muppet Christmas Carol
"I would also add the 'Muppet Christmas Carol' is the best version of the 'Christmas Carol.'"
"It is and in no joke whatsoever, this adaptation is considered the most faithful by the Dickensian Association (or something like that, I can't remember the exact name) adaptation of Dickens ever. Even with Muppets in the mix, somehow this is the most faithful."
"I mean, this was Dicken's vision. You name a character Fezziwig and you pretend you didn't have Fozzie in your head at all? It's so faithful that one of the funniest lines in the movie is a direct pull from the story, 'and Tiny Tim, who did not die...'"
"This is a masterpiece and Michael Caine asking to treat the movie as a dead-a** drama while acting alongside Muppets is what gives it its gravitas. I once read that a historian also was surprised at how historically accurate the wardrobe was."
"Having Gonzo as Dickens is masterful. One would think adapting this classic would be easy, but no movie since has achieved the level of quality the Muppets one had. It is, indeed, the best version of 'A Christmas Carol.' Required watching every year."
Emperor's New Groove
"'Emperor's New Groove.'"
"Oh, Right. The Poison. The poison for Kuzco, the poison chosen specially to kill Kuzco, Kuzco's poison."
"My appendix burst during my very first week of college and I was in the hospital for a little bit. The first night after my surgery, I found myself wide awake in the middle of the night with only a little tv to keep me entertained (this was 2004, before streaming services or smartphones)."
"Pretty much nothing but infomercials were playing at that late hour, but then I stumbled upon that movie having just started on the Disney Channel."
"After gleefully watching it, I remember thinking, 'Man, I wish I could watch that again right now,' …and just then the TV announcer said, 'Up next, an encore presentation of 'The Emperor’s New Groove!' It was the absolute best night of a s**t week."
"Oh, you're a villain alright. Just not a super one."
"I was so surprised at how good that movie was. The marketing was all just so DreamWorks-y and the posters were every character making extreme DreamWorks faces, so I was ready for it to be like a superhero-themed 'Shark Tale' or something. It was soooooo good, though!"
The Goofy Movie
"'The Goofy Movie.' The greatest father-son story of all time."
"'I've grown up! I have my own life now!'"
"'I know that! I just wanted to be a part of it.'"
"Their father and son dynamic is one of the best I’ve seen in fiction! Primarily because when it comes to their issues they’re both at fault."
"With Max, taking his father for granted and not appreciating him enough, while Goofy is too scared to see his son grow up he can’t respect that he needs boundaries."
"Even in the sequel, Max seems to have learnt his lesson although he still gets embarrassed by him he later understands why his father needs to be at his college and actually sympathizes. However, Goofy still hasn’t learned his lesson and goes more overboard on violating Max’s boundaries. But by the end, he finally learns to accept letting Max grow up."
"'The Incredibles.' Rewatching it as an adult makes you realize how brilliant it truly is."
"At work, I regularly reference the scene where Mr. Incredible helps the customer navigate the bureaucracy. Also as a middle age dad, I empathize with the parents a lot more."
"I also like to yell out, 'Honey, where is my super (whatever I can’t find)? Where is my (whatever I can’t find)?'"
"Husband and father here."
"Mr. Incredible seemingly hear his wife and kids get killed while being powerless to help them f**ks me up every time."
Though these movies may have ideally been geared toward younger audiences, it's always fun to see what details or jokes were included to keep older audiences engaged with the story, as well.
Those who see the film for the first time as a child get the best of both worlds, as they're able to see it as it was intended, but then appreciate it at a whole new level when they're older.
We all have our different breaking points when it comes to tolerating certain behaviors.
When pushed too far, people can act impulsively and wind up causing irreparable damage and also ruining various relationships.
Some people may find it difficult to do, but turning their back on the situation is key, but if their backs are up against the wall, they may find that counting to ten may bring momentary peace.
Curious to hear about strangers online suppress their rage, Redditor Grouchy-Trip9582 asked:
"What do you do to calm your anger?"
Not being around others is helpful, though it's not always an ideal solution.
Go Into Isolation
"I have to get away from people."
"Same but almost impossible with two younger children around. I think I hold the Guinness World Record for the number of times I have tried to sneak into the bathroom to poop but always get interrupted. Going on 7 years with having every single poop interrupted 💪🏻"
Advantage Of Being Single
"This is exactly why I'm not in a relationship. Trying to find someone who doesn't argue over trivialities such as these seems to be a tall order the older we get"
Any distraction is a good distraction in a moment of rage
"Think about cooking. It sounds weird, but I debate what I'm gonna cook for dinner and run through ingredients in my head. That way, I'm distracted from rage and it gives me time to process my feelings."
"Right now, Im angry at my spouse for stupid disagreements with groceries for what to eat. I'll think about cooking some other day."
Not A Tall Order
"What works best for me is not to think about cooking but to actually bake pancakes. It reduces the world to a small and manageable place where I'm in control and everything works the way I want it to. And I end up with a stack of pancakes to boot. Doesn't work as well when not at home, though. I don't need this fix a lot, sine I am hardly ever angry (and have very little cause to get angry, fortunately)."
Feel The Music
"I begin singing in my head…something calming like Pink Floyd or any number of Black Sabbath songs."
"If I'm getting impatient or trying not to call someone an idiot I'll sing 'one o'clock, two o'clock, three o'clock rock' in my head. By six o'clock rock I'm usually over it, and nobody even knows I was annoyed."
Some people prefer to assess the conflict to help them calm down.
Food For Thought
"Step back and ask myself why the thing making me angry is making me angry. Is it kneejerk defensiveness because something I take for granted has been challenged? Was it an intentionally inflammatory statement designed to make me angry for the sake of attention or clicks? Am I missing an understandable reason someone might do or say something that seems offensive on the surface? Is the person I'm talking to genuinely too ignorant or stupid to understand the implications of what they're saying or doing? Or, after all other possibilities are exhausted, is the anger legitimate?"
"And by the time I've gone through all that, even if it is legitimate, I will have cooled off enough to behave rationally despite any underlying anger."
"I do this all the time! Doesn't just work for anger, I've also used it to evaluate my life when I was going through depression. I learned SO much about myself during that time by using this method."
"My brain turns it into deep depression."
"If your emotions are imbalanced or morph it could be your brain chemicals. I’m bipolar and when I get extremely mad I usually start crying an hour later and get stupidly depressed. I dunno, that’s what happens to me too is my anger turns into the Great Depression."
Assessing The Situation
"a therapist of mine told me that most anger is a reaction to a different type of feeling. I try to analyze what other feeling I'm feeling and get to the core of it. Sometimes it sucks because anger is a kneejerk response usually and hard to really Calm, but to avoid arguments, its better to analyze. it also helps you understand others more."
Bringing In Logic
"When I realize I’m angry I pause, remove myself from the situation and logically think through why I’m angry while rationalizing that it’s not a good reason to be as angry as I’ve gotten and/or if I feel it’s justified I accept that I need to calm down to be productive or risk being irrationally destructive."
Whenever I'm about to go postal in any situation, I think of my dear friend Kimberly and reflect on some of her hilarious antics that to this day still make me laugh.
Yeah, I have her to thank for a number of times I could've caused property damage.
Thanks, Kimberly. You have no idea how much thinking about your sense of humor has gotten me out of plenty of trouble. Not that I need anger management or anything.
Readers, I hope you all have a Kimberly in your lives that you can rely on in the heat of a moment to pull you back.
When we look back on our childhood, we all reflect on things we regret doing.
From stealing money from our parents' wallets to buy candy or cheating on a test, to sneaking into an R-rated movie against our parent's advice, or being caught coming home past our curfew with our first crush.
While these things naturally got us in trouble, we often look back on these things with laughter and amusement, as they seem to be things all children are guilty of at one point or another.
Of course, some of us also may have done things that we can't simply brush off as "kids being kids."
Things we did that couldn't be fixed by an apology or a punishment, and which still cause us to lie awake in bed at night to this very day.
"What is something you deeply regret doing as a child that still affects you to this day?"
And They Likely Have The Scars To Prove It...
"In middle school I jumped from the top of a slide and landed flat on the bottom, hurting my back."
"Pretty sure I've never recovered."- sadnessucks
It Can Never Hurt To Ask
"Falling into the trap of 'If I don’t ask for too much maybe I can get what I need'."- OldBob10
An Honest, But Painful, Mistake
"After every Thanksgiving dinner as a child my grandpa would put a plate of food together for a man named Mr. Bailey who lived by himself and didn’t have family in town."
"He’d drive over to his house, drop the food off, talk for 5-10 minutes, and then come back."
"I didn’t know this."
"One year after our meal my grandpa handed me a plate with a slice of pumpkin pie on it and told me to get in the backseat of his truck."
"I didn’t ask questions and hopped in with the pie."
"We get to our destination and my grandpa opens my door and says, 'you have the pie?'"
“'What do you mean grandpa? I ate it'.”
"I thought the pie was for me. I ate it in the backseat on the car ride like it was a brownie."
"Mr. Bailey didn’t get any pumpkin pie that year."
"I still can’t look at pumpkin pie without feeling bad about it."- bentgrass7
It's OK To Cut Yourself Some Slack, Every Now And Then...
"I took everything to heart."
"All the insults, all the failures, all the minor mishaps, I couldn't just let it pass me by, it hit me right in the heart, which is why my current mental health leaves a lot to be desired."- AnastasiaFrid
It's Frighteningly Easy To Judge
"When I was 4 a neighbor girl and I became friends."
"I invited her over one day to play, we were playing with dog food, it was fake food."
"Well she started eating it."
"I screamed at her and called her nasty and was just sh*tty."
"Told her I didn’t want to play with her anymore."
"As it turned out, the poor girl was severely neglected."
"Her parents never had food so she was basically starving."
"It didn’t dawn on me until I saw that they were kicked from their home and it was condemned and torn down a year after."
"I remember I went over to play one time and the house smelled like rotting hamburger meat."
"There were cockroaches everywhere."
"It was traumatizing, I cannot imagine living there."
"I have tried to find the girl via social media with no luck."- AbrasiveRake34
An Unwanted Remnant Of A Good Time...
"Giving my knees floor burn for fun."
"I don't have a clue why I thought it was fun."
"Now they are in an awful state and completely covered in scars."- thealphagalgirl
Often, The Most Difficult Thing We Have To Face, Is The Truth
"Not sleeping in my dying father's bed with him."
"He asked me to because he didn’t want to be alone."
"I was 18 at the time and was not prepared for all this."
"Until the day I die I will never forgive myself."- Modig7176
Staying Silent And Doing Nothing Can Cause More Harm Than It Seems...
"I regret not having thicker skin and sticking up for myself from my bullies."
"There were two individuals who were complete psychos and went out of their way to make several people's lives hell!"
"One girl was so crazy she tried running my friend off the road driving home from school; she is now in prison for embezzling from her employer."- NectarineNo974
Well Meaning, But Ill Timed.
"When I was 4 yo, the husband of my aunt died."
"Very soon after the his death, the whole family was gathered around in the living room, me sitting across her."
"I wanted to make her feel better and said:"
"'Don't worry, you will find a new Matty you will love'."
"The hurt and surprised face of her hunts me even today."
"I understood I did something wrong but not really what at that moment."
"We are on good terms and she is living a good live now."
"She very likely forgot what I told her that day."
"I'm probably the only one remembering that conversation."- RoachT3
Blaming A 7-Year-Old For Negligence Just About Says It All...
"One time when I was 6-7 I rode on a 4-wheeler with my older sister."
"We hit a dip in my grandparent's pasture, my sister fell off and she went under the rear tire."
"She needed immediate surgery."
"My grandmother still blames me for it and it has affected me deeply."
"For years I listened to how my sister almost died due to my negligence."- xX8PuzzyXx
Genetics Are Nothing To Be Ashamed Of
"Stop exercising / any kind of working out because I was told my movement is awkward."
"Tried to shrink myself because I was a tall girl that stands out of other kids, which ruined my posture."
"Now I have a very bad scoliosis that causes mild but chronic back pain."
"It's very visible as my waist is not symmetrical."
"Might have to go under a big surgery, putting braces to my spine, in the next 3-4 years."- fatbabygoat
Not everything, if anything, can be brushed off by saying "kids will be kids".
This is why it's important for parents to teach their children what is right and wrong, and be kind and compassionate.
Even it won't stop them from making bad decisions it will certainly make them think twice and avoid doing something they will regret for the rest of their lives.
Men Share The 'Guy Secrets' Only They Know
There are certain things men keep to themselves when it comes to life and dating.
And no one talks about the bro code much.
A recent Reddit thread gave us a chance to peek behind the curtain.
Redditor AMGBOI69420 wanted all the men out there to share some necessities, so they asked:
"What are some 'guy secrets' girls don't know about?"
Don't be afraid to make them.
Guys appreciate a decisive nature.
But don't be aggressive.
Thank You...Episode 5 Thank You GIF by PBSGiphy
"We will NEVER forget getting a compliment. I used the same conditioner until it went out of production because someone told me my hair felt soft and smelled nice."
"Sometimes when it's up, it's not because we're horny. But don't let that stop you, Queen."
"I once had a guy tell me 'If a guy has a morning erection it doesn’t mean you turn him on, he was probably just having a sex dream about someone else.' Ever since then I NEVER try to initiate anything in the morning. Is that true?"
"It‘s because the body tests any function while you sleep and most of the time that time you begin to wake up it tests the function to get an erection."
"Nice try honey, I still won’t tell you where I keep my snacks."
"Oh, I found them. Days before I was silently soaking in the glory of my private eye skills while we watched (XYZ) on Netflix, and relishing over the fact that the joys of your deceit will soon evaporate into the void during the exact moment you discover you’ve been left with only the lemon flavored ones."
And you are?
"Dudes can be friends for years and not know each other's real name."
"I've lived in my house for 2 years. I chat with my neighbor just about every day when leaving for work. I didn't want to ask him his name so I looked up the property records to find out that information."
"I worked in a grocery store with a guy who went by his middle name. I went by a nickname completely unrelated to my name. We both found out we didn't know each other's real names until 2 years after we started working together."
BreatheTuesday Morning Reaction GIF by The Secret Life Of PetsGiphy
"That big sigh my wife just asked about while we’re watching the 10 o’clock news? Nothing profound, nothing bugging me, I just remembered to breathe."
Breathing is everything. It can change every moment.
What Up?houston rockets yo GIF by TwitterGiphy
"We have an entire language around the headnod."
"It’s weirdly sophisticated too. You can actually tell how comfortable guys are around each other based on if they say hello with an up-nod or a down-nod."
Fake it until...
"Sometimes, that male confidence that you find attractive is us totally faking it while shaking on the inside, insecure AF."
"I just had this exact conversation with my husband the other day. I was telling him how he seems so confident and I would never guess that he's really nervous or that he's not sure of himself."
"I would've never dreamed he gets all nervous and all that good stuff still to this day with me. I don't feel like it's still sunk in completely bc I was so shocked at how nervous he was explaining he'd get at times lol so props to the guys who fake it til they make it. Keep on bc you're doing a good job 💯."
"We don’t want to tell you certain things are worrying us because we do not want you to worry also… now there are just two people worrying, whereas before, one was worrying, and the other was happy, which is a reminder to us not to worry so much."
"It's a bit different if the person you're telling can do something about the issue, but for something currently unsolvable there's no reason to extend the misery to anyone else."
Just say it!
"Please for the love of God let us know if you’re into us. Don’t wait for us to tell you first because we won’t because we don’t want to be called creeps."
"My current partner and I used to flirt and talk through text all day, every day for months before I told our best friends. I was so into him, but unsure how he felt. My girlfriend was like: he’s usually just like that; he’s friendly with all of our other friends that are girls and would even ask me if I wanted to stream things with him when [her bf and his best friend] was at work."
"So I put that to rest. But then his friend helped a little bit by interfering and he was nonchalant about his feelings for me to him. When I got the green light I should just do it, I admitted my feelings for him. We’re close to celebrating a year in our LDR. We met in person for the first time a couple of months ago and he’s coming here soon. Best decision of my life to just say how I was feeling."
So many secrets.
So many truths.
Lesson? Try not to worry.