Police are investigating after this rusty 2.7-inch sewing needle was found inside an 11-year-old girl’s heart and nobody could explain how it got there.
The girl named as Wang Yinan attends a sports school in the city of Yichun in north-eastern China’s Heilongjiang Province where she is training to become a weightlifter.
In the early hours of 27th August, the pupil who lives in her school’s dormitory sent messages and voice notes to her grandmother, Ms Ji, who is her full-time guardian while her parents work out of town.
In the messages, Wang complained of sudden and constant chest pain and asked to be taken to doctors.
Ms Ji said she and the girl’s mum took the child to various local hospitals which initially suspected she was suffering from myocarditis – inflammation of the heart muscle.
However, when she failed to respond to treatment, further tests revealed the thin, metallic object resting in her heart.
It took experts at Harbin Children’s Hospital in the provincial capital to identify the high-density foreign body as a sewing needle with a closed loop at one end.
Wang underwent two tricky surgeries, the second of which was on 31st August, to have the needle removed, and she now remains in intensive care fighting for her life.
A hospital spokeswoman revealed that the first operation was unsuccessful as the girl’s organ was filled with blood and surgeons could not find the needle.
In the second open-heart surgery, doctors cleaned the blood and removed the needle measuring 7 centimetres (2.7 inches) in length.
The spokeswoman said the needle “moved with every heart beat”.
However, doctors are still puzzled as to how the needle ended up in the girl’s heart in the first place.
The spokeswoman said it was unlikely to have been swallowed, as the needle would have remained in the girl’s trachea.
It is possible that the needle was pushed into her heart through her skin, but the chances of that were “very low”, she added.
Wang’s nan, Ms Ji, told local media: “Nobody knows how it got there.
“I asked her while she was still conscious before her surgery. She said she didn’t know either – only that it hurt.”
Ms Ji said she found a small wound on her granddaughter’s chest while helping to bathe her.
However, it is still unclear whether that it is the needle’s entry wound.
She added: “The needle was rusty and looked old. It didn’t seem like a new needle.
“It mangled her heart.”
Officers with Yichun’s Hongguang Police Station confirmed on 3rd September that they were investigating the case.
The girl’s school said it was also cooperating with the ongoing inquiry.
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