One mom who attempted to cure her 3-year-old son's "epilepsy" may have actually made things worse with a botched home remedy. According to the Daily Mail, she allegedly force-fed her son live frogs hoping to cure the neurological disorder, but the home remedy actually caused a parasitic infection instead.
It has been reported that the little boy was held down by family members and forced to swallow three live frogs his mother caught outside of their home. She reportedly did so because he began showing signs of epilepsy. During a recent interview with Shenzhen Satellite Television, she defended her actions explaining that she'd done so for her son's well-being. "There is a child [in our neighborhood] who has tried this method and it was a success. [My friends] suggested I give it a try too, so we went to catch live frogs to feed my son."
However, no medical examination had been conducted to determine whether or not the boy's questionable symptoms were actually the result of epilepsy. Although she was convinced that the old folk medicine remedy would cure her son, she's reportedly subjected her child to a number of other possible debilitating illnesses because the remedy definitely didn't work. According to Opposing Views, the boy was diagnosed with a condition known as sparganosis.
Shortly after ingesting the live frogs, the boy's health gradually began to decline and family members noticed he'd developed large masses on his stomach and scrotum area. After being rushed to a nearby hospital, the boy underwent a series of exams and doctors discovered that he had sparganosis.
"The clinical manifestations of sparganosis depend on which organs or tissues are involved. Subcutaneous tissues are most likely to be infected by the parasite, but visceral organs and the orbit of the eye, and rarely, the brain. The early migratory stages in the development of the sparganum are asymptomatic, but when it has reached its final site and begins to grow, its presence elicits a painful inflammatory reaction in the surrounding tissues. Sparganosis can cause intestinal obstruction, and the parasite has been recovered from the wall of the intestine, the breast, the scrotum, the epididymis, ureter, urinary bladder, abdominal cavity, heart, and lung. - Stanford University"Since the parasitic infection is directly associated with the larvae of tapeworms, doctors are more than sure the illness was a result of the live frogs he'd eaten. The horrific infection reportedly affected the toddlers subcutaneous tissue, causing nodules to grow under his skin, which explains the masses that had formed on his stomach and scrotum.
"The larval worms usually grow into irregular nodules (1 to 2 cm in diameter) and surround tissues, becoming edematous and painful. These nodules may persist for months or even years without any symptoms then suddenly become painful. Some patients complain of migratory nodules that come and go for many years."
Although some of the nodules have been removed from beneath his skin, doctors have made it clear that he's not out of the woods yet. Since tapeworms can live inside the human body for a maximum of 20 years, Dr. Lei Min, who treated the boy at Shenzhen Children's Hospital, has stated that the boy could still have a number of them inside his body. "We think these are not all the tapeworms though," Dr. Min explained. "There might still be a lot in his body."
[Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images]