20 Dec 2009

First of 31 needles removed from boy's body

1:31 pm on 20 December 2009

A Brazilian toddler is making a good recovery after surgery to remove the first of 31 sewing needles pushed into his body by his stepfather.

The boy, aged two and a half, underwent a five-hour procedure last week for the removal of two rusted needles from near his heart and two from a lung.

This week, surgeons aim to remove needles from his intestines and bladder.

The 30-year-old stepfather has confessed to putting the needles in the boy's body at the behest of his girlfriend, with the guidance of a practitioner of an African-Brazilian religion. All three have been arrested.

Local media says they are at an undisclosed location because of the fear of retribution by people enraged at the cruelty to the child.