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Brazilian Woman Survives Harpoon Through Head

posted 9 May 2013, 11:59 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 9 May 2013, 12:00 ]

In the second occurrence in less than a month, a Brazilian has barely escaped death after accidentally being shot in the head with a harpoon.

ARRAIL DO CABO, RIO DE JANEIRO STATE, BRAZIL (MAY 8, 2013) (TV BANDEIRANTES) -  A Brazilian woman is lucky to be alive this week after her husband accidentally shot her with a speargun, sending a harpoon through her mouth and to her spinal cord.

Twenty-eight year-old Elisangela Rosa was in her kitchen in the town of Arraial do Cabo, located in the state of Rio de Janeiro, when her husband's speargun accidentally went off on Monday (May 6) while he was cleaning it.

The gun's harpoon entered through Rosa's jaw, pierced her pharynx, and then broke two molars, before finally settling into the first cervical vertebra of her spine.

Rosa was taken to the local hospital in Arraial do Cabo before having to be transferred to a regional hospital where it took a team of surgeons about two hours to remove the harpoon and stabilize the patient.

Doctors said the harpoon was a centimetre away from either proving fatal or leaving Rosa a quadriplegic.

According to local news reports, the husband claimed in a police statement that the shooting was an accident.

He so far refused to speak to the media.

This incident comes just weeks after another Rio de Janeiro state resident survived accidentally shooting himself through the eye with a harpoon while cleaning his speargun.

Vascular surgeon, Dr. Marcelo Amaral on Wednesday (May 8) said Rosa was recovering.

"Now she is lucid. She's already interacting through signals. She's already about to convey some information to us, but this time still requires a lot of observation on account of the region [suffering damage]. The cervical region is a prime area, with several structures, that requires extensive monitoring," said Amaral.

The doctors' attention is currently focused on the recovery of a lateral fracture in the first vertebra hit by the harpoon.