Former Psychiatric Aide Admits Giving Patient Nails to Eat

A Pennsylvania mental hospital worker has admitted giving four nails to a patient and getting her to swallow them.

Athena Marie Sidlar, a former 28-year-old psychiatric aide trainee at Allentown State Hospital, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Lehigh County Court to reckless endangerment.

Police say that in January, she showed an 18-year-old female patient how to swallow nails. Four nails had to be removed from the patient's stomach.

Sidlar says she has bipolar disorder and swallows nails and other metal objects. Her attorney, Ettore Angelo of Quakertown, said his client is trying to battle her affliction.

She is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 8.