Pregnant Woman Has Nail Hammered Into Her Head to Guarantee Baby Boy

A so-called faith healer in Pakistan convinced a pregnant woman that she would give birth to a baby boy if she had a metal nail hammered into her skull.

Doctors at the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar were shocked when they examined the head of a pregnant woman who claimed to have a two-inch-long nail stuck in her skull. An X-ray confirmed the woman’s claim, but it was her story that really left hospital staff speechless. The woman explained that the nail in her head had been recommended by a faith healer who promised her that it would guarantee that she gives birth to her first son, rather than her fourth daughter.

The unidentified woman, who was “fully conscious, but was in immense pain” when she arrived at the hospital, had been trying to remove the metal nail from her skull herself, but couldn’t do it. She told doctors that her husband had threatened to leave if she birthed another daughter, so she was desperate to have a son. A neighbor recommended a faith healer, and she decided it was worth a try.

At first, the woman told doctors that the healer had instructed her to sing some chants while hammering the long nail into her head, but, after examining the wound, doctors became convinced that she couldn’t have done the deed herself, and that someone else must have hammered the nail in. It’s unclear who did the deed, but it’s clear that the woman fully agreed to it.

“She said that a woman in her locality did the same and gave birth to a boy even though the ultrasound had shown her unborn child to be a girl,” Dr. Haider Suleman Khan, the resident neurosurgeon at Lady Reading Hospital, told Dawn. “She is three months pregnant and because of her husband’s fear she went to the faith healer who gave her taweez, things to recite and the nail.”

Members of the woman’s family heard her screaming in pain and tried helping her remove the metal object, but they were unsuccessful. After performing an X-ray exam and confirming that the nail had not entered her brain, doctors managed to remove the foreign object from her skull.

Instead of alerting the police, doctors simply posted the X-ray and the bizarre story online, where it quickly went viral. Peshawar police eventually started an investigation, and it is currently trying to identify the victim, in hopes of eventually bringing the faith healer who tricked her to justice.

“Special team has been made to bring to justice the fake Pir who played with the life of an innocent woman & put a nail in her head, with a false promise of a male child,” Peshawar Police Chief Abbas Ahsan wrote on Twitter. “The team will also investigate why [the] incident was not reported to [the] police by the treating doctor.”


Faith healers, or pirs, are still very common in Pakistan, with people flocking to them for a variety of problems, but advising people to hammer nails into their own heads is definitely very uncommon.


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