Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

News

Ewww! Sea Snail Was Living Inside Little Boy's Knee

Before you read more...
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

A troubling knee injury that just wouldn't heal on a little boy turned out to be because there was a living creature inside.

Little 4-year-old Paul Franklin of Aliso Viejo, fell and cut his knee on a rock during a family vacation at Spooner's Cove beach on the central California coast.

"It was just a little owie," his mother, Rachael told the Orange County Register, "but one that kept seeping and never quite scabbed up."

Paul went through several cleanings, trips to the doctor and a course of antibiotics to battle what they thought was a staph infection. His fever disappeared, but the wound turned black after three weeks.

Support for LAist comes from

By that time, Paul's knee was "the size of an orange," his mother told CBS2. He was limping and the knee was hot to the touch. She was worried that the swollen knee was a sign of gangrene and decided, against the doctor's advice, to squeeze it and drain the wound.

"I know the doctor didn't want to drain this," she told the OC Register, "but this sucker needs to be drained!"

When she applied pressure, a small black object shot out of Paul's knee. Rachael thought it must be a small rock, and wondered how doctors could have missed it. Then she saw it move. She got a cup of water and put it inside. "He moved!" Rachael remembered. "There's a freakin' little guy in there! Bubbles were coming up."

"It was crazy!" Paul said.

His father, Ken Franklin, now believes Paul must have fallen on a nest and that an egg ended up in his knee and began gestating.

"How could I, Ken, the urgent care doctor and the pediatrician have missed a black sea snail living in his leg?" Rachael marvels.

She is now trying to find a marine biologist to verify if that's even possible, according to the OC Register.

They put the sea snail in a fish bowl with their beta fish, Dory. Paul named the snail Turbo, after the recent animated movie character. Sadly (?), Turbo might not be a family pet anymore: Rachael said she hasn't seen any bubbles or movement recently.

At the very least, this kid has a killer show-and-tell story for life.