Home | National | Sea snail gets into boy's knee during beach holiday and hatches three weeks later

Sea snail gets into boy's knee during beach holiday and hatches three weeks later

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  • Paul Franklin, 4, found the animal in his knee three weeks after falling on rocks during a family holiday
  • Mother worried he had Gangrene after doctor's trips and antibiotics didn't help
  • Snail now lives in fishbowl at family home

By Jennifer Smith

PUBLISHED: 04:48 EST, 15 August 2013 | UPDATED: 05:59 EST, 15 August 2013

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When most of us go to the beach, the best souvenir we can hope for is sand in our shoes and maybe a shell or two.

But for one little boy it was a little more exciting when a snail emerged from his knee following a trip to the beach.

Four year-old Paul Franklin from Aliso Viejo in Orange County, was left baffled when the small creature appeared after his mother Rachael decided to squeeze his wounded knee which he had grazed after falling on rocks during a family camping holiday.

paul franklin snail

Four year-old Paul (center) was stunned when his mother Rachel (left) squeezed his graze and the snail popped out. Little brother Luke (right), two, is excited about the new addition to the family which the boys have named Turbo

At first, Rachael didn't think much of the injury which Paul sustained while on holiday with his family in Spooner's Cove, California.

'It was just a little owie,' she told the Orange County Register.

'But one that kept seeping and never quite scabbed up.'

After cleaning the wound with antibiotic liquid and applying a small bandage, she didn't think any more of it.

But a week later, Paul managed to re-open the cut after falling while ice skating. Soon, his knee became red, swollen and hot to touch.

Doctors told Rachael that it was a staph infection, and took samples from Paul's knee tissue to test  for dangerous viruses.

The doctor prescribed a heavy dose of antibiotics,and sent them on their way.

Ten days later the scab was looking much better, and Rachael thought she could put the ordeal behind her.

It was only when Paul fell on his knee again that his mother knew something was wrong. Filled with what looked like black puss, she decided the wound needed draining.

'I know the doctors didn't want to drain it, but that sucker needed draining!' she said.

The snail, which Paul and little brother Luke have named Turbo, is thought to have hatched from an egg that made its way into Paul's graze after he fell at the beach
The snail, which Paul and little brother Luke have named Turbo, is thought to have hatched from an egg that made its way into Paul's graze after he fell at the beach

The small sea snail is thought to have made its way into Paul's knee after he fell on a nest of snail eggs at Spooner's Cove beach. Paul's mother Rachael is now looking for marine biologists who will be able to tell her more

To Rachel's surprise, what emerged when she squeezed the graze was not just oozing discharge, but a little black snail.

At first, she and Paul mistook the tiny creature for a rock, only realizing that it was in fact a small sea snail when they saw something moving inside its hard shell.

Paul's father, Ken, believes the little animal made its way into his son's leg after he fell onto a nest of snail's eggs at the beach in Spooner's Cove.

Rachael is now trying to find marine biologists who will be able to tell her how such a turn of events came about.

Paul, who describes the whole incident as "crazy" has since named the snail Turbo. 

It now lives in a small fishbowl with the family's other pet, a beta fish called Dory.

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