Man Has Rusty Knife Blade Removed From His Head 26 Years After He Was Stabbed

A 76-year-old man from rural China can consider himself lucky to be alive after he had a four-inch-long rusty knife surgically removed from his brain, 26 years after being stabbed in the head.

The case of Duorijie, an old farmer from the rural county of Haiyan in China’s north-western Qinghai Province, can be considered nothing short of a miracle. Stabbed in the head in 1994, during a violent mugging, Duorijie had reportedly been living with a long knife blade stuck in his brain ever since. Lucky to have survived the attack, the farmer had been experiencing all kinds of troublesome symptoms because of the knife blade in his brain, like lost vision in his right eye and chronic headaches. Now, thanks to a team of doctors, he is finally able to enjoy a pain-free life.

Duorijie initially sought medical assistance in 2012, when his headaches became too hard to bear. However, after taking X-ray of his skull and shockingly discovering the four-inch-long blade stuck inside the farmer’s brain, doctors decided that attempting to remove the foreign object was to dangerous, so they declined to operate on him. Luckily for the 76-year-old, his unique case was recently rediscovered.

The farmer would have most likely perished with the long knife blade stuck in his brain, if not for doctors touring the countryside of Qinghai Province last month. They learned of Duorijie’s case and he was once again in the spotlight.

“When we found him while on a medical tour of Qinghai, we learned that experts had decided on more conservative treatment, prescribing only painkillers,” Doctor Zhang Shuxiang said. “But his symptoms began [to get] increasingly severe and unbearable. Due to the limitations of local hospitals, we decided to bring him to Shandong for the best possible treatment.”

He was flown to more than 3,000 kilometers for free treatment, seeing as she couldn’t afford to pay the medical help. Because of the blade in his brain, he had not only lost vision in his right eye, but also suffered near-full paralysis in his left arm and leg.

CT scans and X-rays performed at the hospital of Shandong First Medical University in Jinan showed that the blade was located at the base of the patient’s skull, lodged against his eye socket and pressing against his optic nerve. Removing it would be difficult, but according to chief neurosurgeon Dr Liu Guangcun, it was “the only way to resolve the pensioner’s suffering once and for all.”

Apparently, neurosurgery has come along way since 2012, and this time doctors were confident enough to attempt the blade removal, so on April 2 and 8 Duorijie underwent two delicate surgical procedures to finally have the long knife blade removed.

“During the two-hour surgery, surgeons removed the rusty 10-centimeter (4-inch) blade,” Dr. Zhang told reporters. “On April 8, he underwent a second operation to clean his wound. He’s recovering well and can already walk around on his own. His head pains are gone, and he has regained full sight in his right eye. He can also open his mouth and no longer coughs.”

Duorijie’s case has been making news headlines both in China and abroad for the past week, and for good reason. It’s not every day that you read about a man who lived with a four-inch knife blade stuck in his head for 26 years, and survived its surgical removal.

Speaking about his ordeal, the 76-year-old farmer said “I couldn’t laugh, yawn or even cough. The doctors have given me a second chance at life and ended my nightmare of more than 20 years.”

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