If you are forgetful, like me, the chances are that the palm of your hand is well acquainted with your forehead. With life hurtling by at an alarming speed, it is easy to let important things slip your mind. The numerous notes and repetitive reminders you leave yourself are all too often disregarded and only appreciated once it’s far too late to act upon them.

Forgetfulness is a basic human characteristic, exhibited in every person on this planet – even celebrities are guilty. Just look at Justin Bieber who appears to forget the lyrics to his own songs on a regular basis, or former British Prime Minister David Cameron who left his baby daughter in a pub after he and his wife had enjoyed a meal.

But, nobody can claim to be more forgetful than Emily Pankhurst, a 20-year-old student from Canterbury, who forgot about her tampon for nine days, resulting in her near death.

When Pankhurst’s stomach became engorged last year, the criminology student blamed the bloat on stress provoked by her university finals. The uncomfortable mass that was expanding in her belly, combined with bloody discharge, didn’t concern the student who simply thought she was a little under the weather.

“I was stressed about my exams and really wanted to do well on my degree, it didn’t register that I was ill,” the 20-year-old explains.

“I was feeling really ill by that stage. I was hot and dizzy and felt really strange,” the student said. “I was bleeding more and my mom suggested I feel about and see if there was anything there.”

After several days of continued discomfort, Pankhurst took her mother’s advice and jumped in the shower where she discovered the lost tampon. Immediately, Pankhurst removed the offending object, but it was a little too late.