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Toothbrush choker: I will change my mouth washing method

The man who stunned the country after swallowing his toothbrush on April Fools Day has vowed to go easy on his mouth washing routine.

David Charo swallowed his toothbrush while brushing his teeth in Bamba village, Kilifi county.

“It was around 8am. I was busy brushing my teeth as I prepared to go to work in Mombasa. But as I was brushing my teeth and tongue near the throat, I ingested the toothbrush which got lodged on my throat,” he recounted.

Mr Charo added: “When I opened my mouth my brother could see it but he couldn’t remove it since I was in pain. But as I was being rushed to the hospital on a bodaboda it continued sinking until it stuck on my stomach. I could feel it.”

The jua kali labourer insists incident was purely accidental.


He was discharged from Coast Provincial General Hospital on Friday after spending five days worrying about his survival chances. In the five days, Charo survived on water, milk and porridge.

LEFT: An X-ray showing a tooth brush stuck in David Charo's stomach. RIGHT: Mr Charo at Coast Provincial General Hospital on April 05, 2018. PHOTOS | KEVIN ODIT
LEFT: An X-ray showing a tooth brush stuck in David Charo’s stomach. RIGHT: Mr Charo at Coast Provincial General Hospital on April 05, 2018. PHOTOS | KEVIN ODIT

In his first interview after being discharged, the 34-year-old man told Nairobi News that he has modified his mouth washing regime, with more emphasis now on his safety .

“I will now change tactics while brushing my teeth. I will be more cautious. I know this incident is bizarre but take it from me it is an accident. I am a Jehovah witness faithful, I believe in God,” he added.

He paid about Sh20, 000 and was discharged to recuperate at home.

Doctors told him there were two options to be used to remove the toothbrush; either through non-surgical operation or through an operation.

Upon consultation with the family and doctors, on April 6, Dr Ramadhan Omar, a surgeon, led a team of medics to remove the toothbrush from the stomach.

At the theater, he was sedated and the toothbrush removed in a procedure that lasted less than 40 minutes.


“Doctors were telling me stories before I slept only to wake up in the ward with the toothbrush beside me and pains in my mouth, neck and stomach. I opted for non-surgical which is less painful. But I was told if it failed they would carry an operation. I am lucky it was successful,” he added.

The hospital’s chief administrator Iqbal Khandwalla said if the toothbrush could have prolonged in his stomach it could worsen his health and lead to complications.

“We decided to use endoscopy because it is less dangerous, has shorter recovery time, less time consuming, less painful and it’s a modern way of treatment,” Dr Khandwalla said.

Endoscopy is non-surgical procedure involving inserting of an instruments to view and operate on the internal organs and vessels of a body. It allows surgeons to see problems within the body without making large incisions.