Emergency surgery performed on man who ate BBQ brush bristle

TACOMA, Wash. -- A Tacoma man is recovering from emergency surgery after accidentally swallowing a wire bristle from a barbeque brush.

Adam Wojtanowictz said he drove to Tacoma General Hospital after feeling sharp pain in his belly.

Looking at Wojtanowictz's cat scan, Dr. Steve Norton noticed something that looked like a wire.

"To have something like this in you is very, very unusual," he said.

Norton remembered reading an article about barbeque brush bristles being found in people's bellies.

"They started grilling me, questioning me, grilling me, questioning me," said Wojtanowictz.

When Norton told him what he thought was wrong, a light bulb went off in Wojtanowitctz's head.

"Once he said it, it clicked because I did have a stomach ache from a barbeque I had thrown three weeks ago," he said.

That stomach ache was from a two-and-a-half inch wire that had punctured his small intestine. Norton said that type of injury can lead to an infection and possible death.

Despite evidence to the contrary, Wojtanowictz said he does in fact chew his food. His girlfriend, Ashley Johnson, begs to differ.

"I do call him Cookie Monster a lot," Johnson said. "He shoves everything in his mouth."

As it turns out, Wojtanowictz isn't the only person who's had problems with accidentally eating the wire bristles. The Centers for Disease Control recently released a warning about the brushes after six people in one hospital system were treated for swallowing them.

"It's a huge safety concern," Norton said.

Wojtanowictz is now feeling better and said he will continue barbequing.

"I can't stop barbequing," he said. "It's the only way I know how to cook."