Foreign body (FB) aspiration is common in children aged 0-3 years. Our case, a 2.5-year-old girl, presented with sudden onset of cough, fever and sputum; she had been treated twice for acute bronchitis four months ago. Resisting complaints led to an esophagoscopic examination in our Chest Surgery Clinic after a chest X-ray suggested FB in the esophagus, but no FB could be detected. A lateral chest X-ray revealed a FB with its sharp end targeting the trachea and its round end to the right hemithorax. Removal of the FB with forceps was not possible during rigid bronchoscopy. The FB was removed by thoracotomy and bronchotomy under general anesthesia. The removed FB was a nail measuring 6 cm in length. This case report should serve to stress the diversity of FB aspirations in childhood, the role of parental neglect, and that physicians should be aware of the possibility of FB in children with persistent cough.