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Man survives fishing harpoon in head

March 30, 2009 7:10:54 PM PDT
Surgeons successfully removed a 6-inch fishing spear from the brain of a man who was struck while diving off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, doctors said on Sunday. Emerson de Oliveira Abreu apparently fired the spear, which ricocheted off rocks and penetrated his own head so deeply that only the tip was showing, family members and authorities said. Local media initially reported that Abreu was accidentally shot by a friend.

Doctor Manoel Moreira told Globo TV that the it took five hours of high-risk surgery to remove the projectile from Abreu. He said Abreu is expected to show a full recovery and said only his sense of smell may be impaired temporarily.

The spear entered just above Abreu's left eye and missed the most critical areas of his brain, Moreira said.

Abreu's friend, Douglas Martins, who was fishing with him at the time said the injured fisherman was conscious and talking after the accident.

"It's a miracle," Abreu's aunt Dilene Moreira told Globo TV.

Abreu is expected to be released from Saracurana hospital in one week.

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