For the best part of two decades, I bit my nails incessantly. It wasn’t until I decided to treat myself to a set of acrylic nails that I finally kicked the habit and I’ve never looked back. But what I didn’t know through all those nail-biting years (literally), was that it can be deadly.

This was something that 28-year-old dad-of-two Luke Hanoman from Merseyside, England, learned the hard way when it almost cost him his life. A week after he developed flu-like symptoms from biting down the skin on the side of his nail, he was rushed to the hospital.

To discover what condition Luke had contracted, check out the video below:

After he first developed symptoms, Luke, who works as a warehouse operator, grew weaker and weaker until he experienced “unbearable” throbbing in his afflicted hand.

Despite being in so much pain, Luke had no idea what was wrong with him or how serious his condition really was.

“I used to bite my nails all the time. It was a nervous thing,” Luke said, recalling the incident. “And one day I bit the skin down the side of my nail. It hurt a bit but I didn’t think anything of it.

“I was in work throughout the week and started to get flu-like symptoms which were gradually getting worse.”