Doctors Find a Needle Lodged in a Woman’s Brain – How it Got There is Even More Terrifying

By: Lauren | Last updated: Oct 31, 2023

An 80-year-old woman recently got an MRI that showed something incredibly strange in her brain. 

The doctors realized that it was an inch-long needle sitting in the left parietal lobe of her brain, and how it got there is even more interesting. 

Who Is This Woman?

Although the 80-year-old woman with a needle in her brain has chosen to remain anonymous, the public does know a little bit about her. 


Source: Peter Turnley/Corbis/Getty Images

She lives on the Russian island of Sakhalin; with just 500,000 people, the island sits off the southeastern coast of Russia, and while beautiful, Sakhalin is known for its extreme weather and difficult living conditions. 


Doctors Believe the Woman Survived Infanticide

Of course, there is no definitive answer as to how this needle ended up in the woman’s brain, though the doctors in Sakhalin have a theory. 


Source: YouTube

They believe that the woman’s parents pushed the needle into her brain when she was only an infant in order to kill her, but miraculously, she didn’t die. 

Why Would Her Parents Have Tried to Kill Her?

Although it seems almost unbelievable that a parent would attempt to kill their infant with a needle to the brain, sadly, it was not an uncommon practice during the first half of the 20th century in Russia.


Source: Slava Katamidze Collection/Getty Images

During the 1930s and 1940s, when this woman was born, Russia was experiencing a horrific famine that killed thousands, and, therefore, infanticide was a familiar custom. 

Some Argue Infanticide Was a Kindness

While, of course, killing one’s own child is a tragic and hideous reality, some argue that these parents did so as a kindness because they didn’t want to watch their children starve to death. 


Source: Laski Diffusion/Wojtek Laski/Getty Images

However, others state that the practice was commonplace simply because parents could not handle another mouth to feed. 

How Needle Infanticide Works

Not only was infanticide not uncommon, but specifically, the tactic of entering a needle into the baby’s brain was quite widespread. 

Source: YouTube

The parents would simply insert a needle into a soft spot in the infant’s skull where the bones hadn’t connected yet. Then, the fontanelle, or soft spot, would close around the needle, and the baby would die shortly after. 


Why Was Needle Infanticide so Common?

Even though it’s horrible to think about, the truth is that needle infanticide was used because it did not inflict pain on the child. 

Source: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Getty Images

Additionally, the authorities could not prove that the parents murdered their child as they were sent through an x-ray or MRI machine post-mortem. 


How Did This Woman Survive the Attempt on Her Life?

Now, the now 80-year-old Russian woman who doctors believed survived this method of infanticide is alive and well. 

Source: Adobe Stock

Exactly how she survived is still a mystery, though the doctors have hypothesized that sheer luck enabled the needle to miss any vital brain tissue and that her infant brain was able to simply adapt to the foreign object. 


Her Doctors Do Not Plan on Removing the Needle

Local health officials in Sakhalin, Russia, explained in a statement that they are not going to make any attempt to remove the needle. 

Source: Donato Fasano/Getty Images

They believe that as she has lived with it for 80 years without any symptoms or even so much as a headache, it would cause more damage to remove than to simply leave it in its place. 


Doctors Are Keeping a Close Eye on Her

However, they also stated that they will be keeping a close eye on her to ensure nothing changes, her brain continues to function properly, and she remains as healthy as she can in her old age. 

Source: Getty Images

Although they haven’t spoken directly about the matter, it’s also probable that the doctors will continue to study this strange occurrence to better understand infant brain development. 


Living With This Unexpected Information

No one knows much about this woman’s past except that she was born in 1943 during a widespread food shortage in Russia. However, many are wondering how this news will affect her emotionally. 

Source: Mike Moore/Evening Standard/Getty Images

It’s likely that it will have a much bigger effect on her psyche than on her physical body, as knowing that you survived an attempted murder from your own parents is likely to make anyone feel a little strange. 


This Woman Will Continue to Live a Normal Life

For 80 years, this woman has lived unknowingly with a needle in her brain, and she will now continue to live with it, though now she knows it’s there. 

Source: Freepik

For now, according to her doctors, she is safe, healthy, and living her life on the island of Sakhalin, where she was raised.