RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — A Brazilian toddler was awake and breathing on his own Saturday after doctors removed four life-threatening sewing needles from around one of his lungs and his heart, but he was likely to face more surgery in the coming days, a hospital director said.
The 2-year-old boy — who police say had dozens of the needles stuck deep into his body by his stepfather in a bizarre ritual — remains in intensive care following his Friday surgery and the next two days are critical to his recovery, Roque Aras, medical director of the Ana Nery Hospital, told reporters in the northeastern city of Salvador.
"The next step will be a surgery on the abdomen, to remove needles that are in the bladder and intestines," Aras said. "A third (surgery) will be to remove a needle that is in the spine."
Aras added that the needles removed so far were rusty, which increases the chances of infection in the boy. The next surgery should take place on Monday or Tuesday.
Police say 30-year-old bricklayer Roberto Carlos Magalhaes confessed to pushing the metal sewing needles into the child because, he said, his lover told him to while in trances. The rituals, performed over a month, were supposedly aimed at keeping the couple together.
Police say they believe the lover, Angelina Ribeiro dos Santos, told Magalhaes the ritual would keep them together, but she was really seeking revenge on Magalhaes' wife by having him hurt her son.