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Legendary San Diego sword swallower: 'I thought I was going to die'

Legendary San Diego sword swallower: 'I thought I was going to die'
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Thursday, 08 December, 2022, 12:30

A famed sword swallower in San Diego is speaking out after a mishap at a show left him hospitalized for more than a month with life-threatening injuries.

More than a month ago, Scott Nelson, AKA ‘Murrugan The Mystic,’ was a third of the way into his act at Six Flags America in the Washington D.C. metro area when he performed his five-sword swallowing stunt.

Some 15 minutes later, he started feeling ill.

“It was really hard to breathe, and it felt like my chest was full,” said Nelson.

Nelson was rushed to a hospital.

"I knew I was in big-time trouble ... I really thought I was going to die,” said Nelson.

The swords he was using were dull at the point, about a half-inch wide, and about between 24 and 28 inches long.

Nelson, who has been swallowing swords for more than 25 years, says this was his second accident.
“I have to keep holding the swords in a bunch. If I let go too soon, that’s when the scissoring happens. I let go too soon, and they rocked off of each other and scissored out,” said Nelson. “Two penetrated the esophagus all the way through. One nicked my liver, and the other perforated my lung.”

After multiple surgeries, he was placed in a medically induced coma for nearly a month. A member of the surgical team told him this.

“She said, ‘No one thought you were going to make it. We thought you were going to die on the table,'" said Nelson.

Remarkably, he did survive. Part of the lung was removed.

“I had a huge spiritual awakening,” said Nelson.

A grateful Nelson is now rethinking his longtime passion.

“I won’t be swallowing any more swords. I can never put my mother through this, ever, ever again,” said Nelson.

While he's done swallowing swords, his act will go on, including stunts like eating light bulbs and lying on a bed of nails.

A Gofundme campaign has been set up to help with medical and other expenses.