Sea Snail Found in 4-Year-Old's Knee

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A 4-year-old boy, from California, has a new pet. What is it and where did it come from? Well, that's an interesting story.

Paul Franklin, from Aliso Viejo, fell and scraped his knee during his vacation to Spooner's Cove Beach with his family. His parents weren't too concerned, and rightfully so since little boys fall and scrape their knees all the time. His mother, Rachael, says it was “just a little owie, but it was “one that kept seeping and never quite scabbed up".

His parents did, however, start worrying when his knee began to swell, a few weeks later. They took him to the doctor and he was prescribed antibiotics, for what they thought, was possibly a staph infection. Rachael said that the doctor was more concerned then they were when Paul was taken to the urgent treatment center. "He was more freaked out than even I am," she remembers. "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."

During a three week period, Paul's knee continued to get worse and his mom described his knee as growing to "the size of an orange". Paul was limping from the pain, and his knee was full of pus with a black center and hot to the touch. His mother feared the worse: gangrene. Even though the doctor had told her not to drain the wound and to just let it heal on it's own, Rachael just knew that draining it was what needed to be done.

Rachael then sat Paul down and began squeezing his knee. You will never believe what came out! "You will never guess what popped out of that wound," Rachael said. "A baby sea snail!" Yes, you read correctly. There was a tiny snail that had hatched inside of Paul's knee. At first, she thought that it was a rock that had lodged itself in his knee. That is, until it began to move. "He moved!" Rachael remembered. "There's a freakin' little guy in there! Bubbles were coming up."

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Paul's father, Ken, thinks that his son fell on a nest of the sea snails, and that one of the eggs went into Paul's knee and began growing. "How could I, Ken, the urgent care doctor and the pediatrician have missed a black sea snail living in his leg?" Rachael questions.

His parents are trying to locate a marine biologist that can confirm whether it is possible for a snail to actually grow inside of a human. Paul wanted to keep the snail as a pet and has named him Turbo.