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Woman has pencil removed from her head...after 55 years


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Woman has pencil removed from head

By KRISTEN ALLEN, Associated Press Writer

Tue Aug 7, 12:30 PM ET

BERLIN - After being plagued for 55 years with the torment of a pencil lodged in her head, a German woman has finally had it removed.

Margaret Wegner, now 59, was 4 years old when she fell while carrying the 3.15 inch-long pencil, which went through her cheek and into her brain.

"It bored right through the skin and disappeared into my head," Wegner told Germany's best-selling newspaper, Bild. "It hurt like crazy."

At the time the technology did not exist to safely remove the pencil, so Wegner had to live with it — and the chronic headaches and nosebleeds that it brought — for the next five-and-a-half decades.


A CT scan showing the embedded pencil

But on Friday, Dr. Hans Behrbohm, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Berlin's Park-Klinik Weissensee, was able to use modern techniques to identify the exact location of the pencil so that he could accurately determine that the risks of removing it, and then take most of it out.

The operation was particularly difficult because of the way the pencil had shifted as Wegner grew, Behrbohm told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

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That's really wild. How did she survive infection and all the other threats? How did she manage to wedge the pencil in so that it didn't move and keep causing greater and greater damage.

On the bright side...

At least she had an easy time writing down her thoughts.

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