Ayperi Alekseeva, 18, had been struggling with bad stomach pains. When it got to the point that she couldn't eat or drink without getting sick and she started losing weight, the Kyrgyzstan teen went to a hospital in the capital, Bishkek—where doctors determined she had a ball of hair weighing nearly 9 pounds blocking her digestive system. They removed the hairball in an emergency surgery, Yahoo News reports.
As for how it got there, it seems Alekseeva liked to chew the ends of her hair and also eat hair she picked up from the floor; she promised doctors she would break those habits. "Her stomach was so badly swollen from hair and bits of wool from the carpet that it literally just oozed out soon as the wall of the stomach was cut," says one of her doctors, who adds that the hairball may be the largest one ever removed from a person. Her doctors say she would have died of dehydration or malnourishment without the surgery, Metro reports. (This 62-year-old woman had a 38-year-old skeleton removed from her abdomen.)