In the summer of 2010, Mallory Kievman had a bad case of the hiccups. A really bad case. Desperate for relief, she started trying every remedy she could find, including sipping pickle juice, drinking saltwater, and swallowing a glass of water while hanging her head upside down. In fact, she tried more than 100 folk remedies before deciding to try combining her three favorites—lollipops, apple cider vinegar, and sugar—into a single, powerful hiccup cure.
That’s right: a 13-year-old has discovered a cure for hiccups.
“It triggers a set of nerves in your throat and mouth that are responsible for the hiccup reflex arc,” Kievman told the New York Times. “It basically over-stimulates those nerves and cancels out the message to hiccup.”
She took her invention to her region’s annual Invention Convention, a science-fair-like competition where kids show off their inventions in front of a panel of judges. Her invention, Hiccupops, won awards for innovation and patentability, and as part of her prize, intellectual property lawyers filed patent applications on her behalf.
Now, this 13-year-old inventor will actually be in charge of a group of MBA students from the University of Connecticut, who are being assigned to help her get Hiccupops out into the world. But Kievman will remain CEO and head of R&D while her dad, the only other employee of Hiccupops, is in charge of “adult supervision.”
Kievman told the New York Times that she hopes her Hiccupops will become ubiquitous in school nurse’s offices, drug stores, and, notably, in oncologists’ offices, because hiccups are a side effect of chemotherapy.
Image by ollesvensson