MOSCOW: An elderly woman in Russia’s Far East was revealed on Wednesday to have lived for 80 years with an inch-long needle in her brain, after doctors made the unexpected discovery during a CT scan.
Doctors believe the woman was the victim of a failed infanticide carried out by her parents, and said they would not attempt to remove the needle for fear of worsening her condition.
“Such cases during years of famine were not uncommon,” the local health department in the remote Russian region of Sakhalin said.
It said her parents likely decided to put their child to death during World War II, as she had been living with the three-centimetre-long needle “since birth”.
This method was often used to hide evidence of the crime, it said.
Food shortages were prevalent across the Soviet Union during the war, and many people lived in dire poverty.
“The needle penetrated her left parietal lobe, but it did not have the intended effect - the girl survived,” the local health department said.
It said the patient had never complained of headaches due to the injury, and was not in any danger.
“Her condition is being monitored by the attending physician,” it said.