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article imageDoctors remove two-inch feather from baby's neck

By JohnThomas Didymus     Dec 14, 2012 in Health
Hutchinson - When a 7-month-old, Mya Whittington, showed signs of discomfort, and what looked like a swollen gland in her jaws, parents and doctors were puzzled. But after she was hospitalized, doctors noticed a feather coming out of her neck.
Mya's dad, Aaron Whittington, 26, told ABC News,“We were just pretty much in disbelief."
Mya began showing signs of pain on Saturday. Aaron said: “I was at work and my wife noticed that the left side of her neck had started to swell, and she called me at work and asked if we should take her to the emergency room."
Mya's dad thought she had only a swollen gland and decided to wait and see what happens, but by the next morning, he realized she was in need of urgent medical attention. Aaron said: “Sunday morning, when we woke up, it had doubled in size and there was a pimple-looking thing on the end of it. We’re looking at it and going, ‘There’s no way this is a swollen gland.’”
According to The Huffington Post, the doctors treated the child for what they thought was a swollen gland. They prescribed antibiotics and sent the baby home with her parents, Aaron and Emma. But her jaws continued swelling until it reached the size of a golf ball, AP reports.
Feather poking from Mya Whittington s neck
Feather poking from Mya Whittington's neck
Aaron and Emma Whittington
According to, Mya's grandmother took her back to the hospital. Mya was admitted to a hospital in Hutchinson Kansas.
At first, the doctors thought she had a staphylococcus infection of her lymph nodes. According to ABC News, when doctors tried to drain the swelling, nothing came out.
The mystery of Mya's illness become even more complicated when they noticed what they thought was a "half-inch string" growing from the side of her face, ABC News reports.
Aaron Whittington said: “[The pediatrician] threw on gloves and she pulled out a 2-inch feather and she’s like, ‘It’s a feather.’ And we’re like, ‘What do you mean it’s a feather?’ And she showed us.”
The Whittingtons were dumbfounded. Aaron said: “As far as how the feather got into the side of the neck, our doctor says we’ll probably never really know. But her best guess is that she either inhaled it or tried swallowing it and it got lodged in the throat somewhere, and the body, just being crazy, just started to reject it and force it out the side of her neck.”
The parents say they recall their baby crying and pulling under her left ear in the past weeks. They thought at the time that she might be developing an ear infection or a teething problem.
According to the parents, Mya has now fully recovered. Doctors say she will not need surgery and that the wound caused by the feather's exit would heal on its own, thanks to the fact that she is a growing infant with a body that still has powerful self-repair capability.
The Whittingtons have expressed relief and are grateful that their daughter is safe.
Aaron said: “We've been extremely, extremely surprised. We've gotten stories in Kenya, India, the U.K. It’s really crazy.”
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