A firefighter nearly lost his life when a piece of popcorn stuck in his teeth caused a blood infection that wrecked his heart valves. Only open-heart surgery saved 41-year-old Adam Martin who damaged his gums attempting to remove the popcorn with a pen lid, piece of wire and a metal nail. A week later he began suffering from night sweats, headaches and a heart murmur – symptoms of the deadly infection endocarditis. It allows bacteria to spread through the bloodstream and attack the inner lining of the heart chambers and valves. The dad-of-three’s life was saved by surgeons who operated to repair and replace two heart valves.