80-Year-Old Woman Discovers That She Has Lived with Metal Needle in Her Brain All Her Life

After undergoing a CT scan, an 80-year-old woman from Russia’s Sakhalin region discovered that she had a 3cm metal needle lodged in the left side of her brain.

Photos of the woman’s CT scan results were recently released by the Sakhalin Ministry of Health, along with a shocking explanation. Taking into consideration the woman’s age, doctors believe that the needle was inserted into her brain by her own parents, soon after her birth. As shocking as that sounds, such practices were not uncommon in war-torn Russia. Parents who could not afford to take care of their babies in difficult wartime conditions inserted thin needles into their brain through the fontanelle – the gap in the skull that gradually closes as the baby grows – to kill them. This method left no trace, as the fontanelle quickly closed, leaving no evidence of the murder weapon.


“Such cases during the famine years were not uncommon: a thin needle was inserted into the baby’s fontanelle, which damaged the brain,” the regional Health Ministry wrote in a statement. “The fontanelle quickly closed, hiding the traces of the crime, and the baby died.”

It is unclear how the 80-year-old woman survived her parents’ murder attempt – perhaps they considered her survival a miracle and decided that she was meant to be – but even more remarkable is the fact that she never experienced so much as a headache because of the foreign object in her brain. If not for the recent CT scan, she would never have known it was there.


Doctors said that a surgical intervention to remove the metal needle would only put the patient at risk, due to her advanced age. They concluded that the needle did not pose a threat to her health and she would go on with her life as before. She will remain under the supervision of her physician.

We reported a similar case in 2020, when a Chinese woman discovered two thin needles embedded in her brain. She had no recollection of any accident that could explain their presence.

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