Riddle of three-year hiccup ordeal solved
Published 12/01/2010 | 05:00
FOR MOST people they are a minor annoyance that disappears after a few seconds of holding the breath or attempting to drink water from the far side of a glass.
But the bout of hiccups endured by Christopher Sands lasted for almost three years and nearly killed him. Now, the 26-year-old musician has been cured after undergoing life-threatening surgery to remove a brain tumour that doctors believe had been causing the problem.
Mr Sands, from Timberland near Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire, England, had been hiccuping once every two seconds for 12 hours a day since February 2007. His doctor said it was probably a side-effect of heartburn and told him to take an antacid. But the convulsions continued despite trying a range of remedies.
His condition attracted British media interest, at which point he was contacted by a Japanese television show called 'The World's Astonishing News!'
In August last year the television company offered to fly him to Tokyo to try out remedies sent in by viewers, but within three hours of his plane touching down he was talking to a hospital anaesthetist who had been studying hiccups for 15 years.
Mr Sands was given an MRI scan and told he had a 1.2cm tumour on his brain stem, which doctors said was triggering the hiccups.
Yesterday, Mr Sands described his ordeal as a "hell of a journey". (© Independent News Service)