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Doctors puzzled by woman with 29 needles stuck inside her body

Posted by Administrator on January 6, 2012

A mentally challenged patient has baffled doctors after she was diagnosed with more than two dozen sewing needles inside her body.

An X-Ray done on 30-year-old Gladys Koech showed the needles lodged in several parts of her body, including her chest (ribs), both lower and upper limbs — along the lunar bones, pelvis and back.

The woman’s husband, Mr Philip Koech, said his wife fell critically ill on Christmas Eve last year after she complained of pain, and due to a swelling on her left thigh from a septic wound — a condition that would not allow her to walk.

Koech said the mother of seven was rushed to the Kapkatet District Hospital for treatment where a clinical officer who examined her at the outpatient department referred her for an X-Ray to establish why she could not walk.

“When I brought my wife to the hospital for treatment after she failed to walk owing to the swelling around the septic wound on her thigh, I could not believe things would go this way after doctors told me that she has needles lodged in her body,” Koech said.

The husband, a resident of Kaporus village, Buret District, said he could not comprehend the bizarre incident, adding that he does not know what to do next and he has left the matter to God.

According to a radiographer at the hospital, Joshua Marisin, an X-Ray he took of the woman’s left leg showed an image of a sewing needle lodged in her left thigh.

“When I read the X-Ray film, I saw the needle has pierced through the flesh to the bone and I referred her back to the clinical officer who had examined her for further direction,” Marisin said.

He said the officer referred the woman to the theatre where she underwent a minor surgery to remove the needle. But in the process of putting the patient under anaesthesia, they discovered four more needles around her pelvis joint.

While displaying X-Ray films showing the needles inside the woman’s body to the media in his office, Marisin described the bizarre incident as a rare occurrence.

He said the surgeons managed to remove all the five needles and referred the patient for more X-Rays to find out if there were other needles lodged in her body.

“When the patient was brought back for further X-Ray examination on various parts of her body, I was shocked to find that there were 24 needles lodged in her pelvis, chest, both lower and upper limbs and her back,” the radiologist added.

But what baffled many was that the woman could sit up and walk without any difficulties. Medics and other hospital staff could not explain how the needles entered her body.

Wananchi continued to throng the hospital after they got wind of the bizarre story to catch a glimpse of the woman who is admitted in the female general ward.

However, the hospital’s medical superintendent, Dr Kenneth Sigilai, said he suspected the incident could be the work of traditional healers who may have resorted to crude methods to try and treat the woman, who is of unsound mind.

Dr Sigilai said the hospital lacked special medical facilities to remove the remaining needles still lodged in the patient’s body, adding that they had referred her to Tenwek Mission Hospital in Bomet District for specialised treatment.

“In my own opinion, I think herbalists are the ones responsible for all these. But all the same, we have referred her to Tenwek for specialised treatment to remove the needles,” the medic said.

The doctor said they were trying to establish the patient’s medical history to ascertain her mental status so as to also refer her to a psychiatrist for treatment.

But the woman’s husband said he was unable to take his wife to the mission hospital because of financial constraints. Koech said he has an outstanding bill of Sh13,600 at Kapkatet Hospital and appealed to the Government and well-wishers to help him clear the amount.


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