A seven-month-old baby girl was rushed to the hospital on Saturday after her parents noticed that an area just below her jaw puffed up to the size of one and a half gold balls with a pimple on top.
Doctors had initially diagnosed the bump for an infection, but they were baffled when they discovered that the underlying cause of the baby's distress was a two-inch-long black feather that had wedged underneath Mya Whittington's skin.
Aaron and Emma Whittington first took their daughter to Hutchinson Regional Medical Center in Kansas on Saturday after an area below her jaw swelled up.
"They thought it was a swollen gland," Aaron Whittington said, according to the Associated Press.
Doctors then administered an antibiotic and sent the family home.
However, Mya's grandmother had to take her back to the hospital after a "pimple" appeared on the swollen area, and by that time it had already grew to the size of about one and a half gold balls, Mya's father Aaron said.
"She looked like Quasimodo," he said.
The doctors had first suspected a staph infection on her lymph nodes. They had broken the pimple to drain it and drew marks on Mya's face to measure whether the swelling increased.
However on Monday after the doctor scraped off a scab that had formed, Mya's parents noticed something that appeared to be a string or a stick popping out from the infection. Aaron said that they decided to leave the mysterious string or stick alone because the doctors hadn't done anything to it.
However, Mya's pediatrician visited later in the day and asked what the string was. After putting on a pair of gloves, the pediatrician plucked a 2-inch-long black feather from the swollen area of the child's neck.
Doctors suspect that Mya must have swallowed or inhaled the feather, which apparently went through the inside of her cheek or throat and then over time, her body pulled it out the other way.
Mya's mother Emma said that they had a down pillow on their bed, but Mya is normally never on it, and that the down pillow had been in the couple's laundry room for months. Whatever it is, Mya's parents say that they are throwing away the pillow.
"She's been pulling on the left side of her face for a couple of months," Emma said, according to Associated Press. She had thought that her daughter was teething or had an ear infection.
Emma said that Mya's doctor said that the swelling must have caused her daughter an immense amount of pain, and that Mya only cried when the nurses poked her.
Even though the feather is out, Mya's ordeal isn't over yet. Doctors say that the swollen area has a hard knot in it that is about 4 centimeters in size, and if the knot doesn't eventually break up on its own, the baby may need to go under the knife to remove it.