Rusty knife embedded in man’s head for 26 years after being mugged

A surgeon has removed a rusty knife from a man’s head which was embedded there for 26 years. The four-inch blade had been there since he was violently mugged in 1994. In 2012, the patient, 76, named only as Mr Duorijie sought medical attention after he began suffering from a chronic headache. But the knife was kept in his head because it was believed to pose a threat to his life if he had it removed.

It was finally taken out at Shandong Qianfoshan Hospital in China, which described the case as a ‘miracle’. Images supplied by the facility in Jinan, capital city of Shandong Province, show the intact fruit knife blade retrieved from the back of goatherd Mr Duorijie’s head. Mr Duorijie, who is from the rural county of Haiyan in China’s north-western Qinghai Province, underwent two procedures on April 2 and 8. At the end of March, he was flown more than 1,860 miles for the pro bono treatment after medics touring the countryside discovered his shocking case, which went largely untreated due to the limitations of local medical facilities.

Doctor Zhang Shuxiang, one of the medics who found Mr Duorijie, said: ‘When we found him while on a medical tour of Qinghai, we learned that experts had decided on more conservative treatment, prescribing only painkillers. ‘But his symptoms began increasingly severe and unbearable. Due to the limitations of local hospitals, we decided to bring him to Shandong for the best possible treatment.’ Mr Duorijie’s neurological symptoms included vision loss in his right eye as well as near-full paralysis in his left arm and leg. The two-part life-saving surgery was designed by Shandong Qianfoshan Hospital’s chief ear, nose and mouth specialist Wang Qiron and deputy head Wang Baodong.

The interdepartmental team of medics included head ophthalmologist Dang Guangfu, who said: ‘CT and X-ray scans showed the blade at the base of the patient’s skull, lodged against his eye socket and pressing against his optic nerve.’ Chief neurosurgeon Liu Guangcun agreed that removing the knife blade – measuring 4 inches long and 1.2 inches wide – was the ‘only way to resolve the pensioner’s suffering once and for all’. Doctor Zhang said: ‘During the two-hour surgery, surgeons removed the rusty 10-centimetre blade. ‘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.’ Mr Duorijie 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.’