Doctors in Uzbekistan were left horrified when they discovered 16 sewing needles inside an 11-month-old baby. The baby's mother rushed him to hospital over concerns regarding a high temperature and difficulties urinating.
Doctors and nurses initially believed the baby was suffering from pneumonia, but X-rays showed needles in his heart, bladder, colon, spine and neck (via Kun.uz)
Professor Khabibulla Akimov, who is head of the hospital's children's department said he believed the child could not have ingested the needles, inferring that they were inserted by an unknown person.
Police in the Fergana region of Uzbekistan are now investigating the shocking case of child abuse, hoping to find whoever was responsible.
Surgeons at the Republican Scientific Centre of Emergency Medicine in capital city Tashkent performed a nine-hour operation to remove the majority of the needles, including the nine in his abdomen and one in his neck.
Specialists removed the three inside the baby's heart. Thirteen needles were removed in total, and shown to local media.
The three needles that remain are not thought to be in life-threatening places, so were not removed as to reduce the stress on the baby's body from surgery. The remaining needles will be removed in due course.
The baby's mother told local media she lived with her mother and that the father worked abroad in Russia. "Strangers do not visit us. I do not know how this could have happened," she said tearfully.
Sadly this isn't the only case of this kind of abuse happening. In Kenya last year doctors removed 14 sewing needles that were inserted into a baby. Her parents were arrested at the hospital and the baby, as well as her siblings, were taken to a children's hospice as a full investigation was carried out by police.