A Colombian woman has been admitted to hospital after swallowing thousands of dollars during an argument with her husband.
The 28 year-old woman from the north-eastern town of Piedecuesta swallowed several rolls of American 100 dollar bills which added up to around $7,000 (£5,428). She had reportedly sold various electrical household items in order to pay for a holiday for her and her husband.
However, she later discovered that he had been unfaithful to her and decided to instead use the money to leave him and flee the country to neighbouring Panama. She hid the cash in the house but once he found it an argument broke out as he demanded half for himself. In order to keep the money away from him, she swallowed the bills whole. Unsurprisingly, the next day she experienced severe abdominal pain and had to be rushed to a hospital in the nearby city of Bucaramanga, the capital of the Santander department (state).
Although the woman did not tell doctors about the money, the notes were soon discovered after they x-rayed her stomach and intestines. A team of surgeons was able to retrieve and save $5,700 worth of 100 dollar bills once they were cleaned and dried. Speaking to local radio, Hospital Chief Surgeon Juan Pablo Serrano said while 57 notes “were washed and are in good condition … the rest of the money was lost because of the gastric fluids”.
He explained that the doctors were originally concerned the money could have been ingested as part of a plan to transport it illegally. However they soon realised it was simply an “act of desperation by this woman, due to the problem she was facing”. Eating the bills without any form of wrapping, as someone may do if they had “illicit transport” in mind, had badly affected the woman’s “normal intestinal functioning and life” Serrano said.
The woman has since made a full recovery. A family judge is now reportedly expected to rule on how to divide the salvaged money.
Colombia is one of the most linguistically diverse nations in the world. While Spanish is the country’s official language, it also recognises as many as 68 native languages and dialects. One of its departments, the Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, has English as its official language.