Woman survives after harpoon shooting by husband
May 10, 2013 -- Updated 0950 GMT (1750 HKT)
- The gun misfires as her husband is cleaning it
- It hits her jaw and mouth before it lodges in her cervical spine
- "If it had hit 1 cm to the other side ... she would have been dead," neurosurgeon says
(CNN) -- A Brazilian woman escaped death by less than an inch after her husband accidentally shot her in the mouth this week with a harpoon, authorities said.
Elisangela Borborema Rosa, 28, was in her kitchen with her husband Monday night while he was handling the harpoon, according to Rio de Janeiro state health authorities.
The gun misfired and the spear hit her in the mouth and jaw, and finally lodged in her cervical spine, officials said in a statement.
She was taken to an area hospital and doctors expect her to fully recover.
"This is the first case of its kind that we have gotten at the hospital," said Allan da Costa, a neurosurgeon who operated on the woman.
"The peculiarity of the accident is that the tip of harpoon penetrated the region between her top vertebrae and the spinal cord. If the object hit only 1 cm to one side the patient would have become a quadriplegic. If it had hit 1 cm to the other side or reach one artery to the brain, she would have been dead. "
Doctors are keeping her under observation.
"She is moving both sides(of her body), but having a little difficulty on the right side," da Costa. said. "We need to wait for the sedation to wear off and the tracheotomy tube to be removed to make a full assessment. If all goes well, she will be discharged in a week."
This is not the first harpoon accident in the state this year.
Last month, Bruno Barcellos de Souza Coutinho, 34, was cleaning his harpoon when it misfired and pierced the corner of his left eye and his skull.
He was brought to a local hospital conscious and alert and after a four-hour surgery, doctors removed the object without any brain damage.
In Coutinho's case, a neurosurgeon said the harpoon was millimeters away from vital arteries.
The case was considered a rarity and the procedure to remove it was unheard of in the city of Petropolis, just outside of Rio de Janeiro.
Part of complete coverage on
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
Hamas' tactics have changed -- now the group is using commando-like tactics, says CNN's Ben Wedeman.
July 20, 2014 -- Updated 1540 GMT (2340 HKT)
Some contend that larger weapons have come into Ukraine from Russia.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1311 GMT (2111 HKT)
A nun, an AIDS researcher, an athlete and a family traveling on summer vacation. These were some of the victims aboard MH17.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 0021 GMT (0821 HKT)
Prince George isn't your average one year old. He started walking before he was one. Oh, and, he's going to be king -- of 16 countries.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1136 GMT (1936 HKT)
Former President Bill Clinton acknowledges he got "very close" to helping achieve peace in the Middle East.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 0621 GMT (1421 HKT)
In an ambitious plan to upgrade urban India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will build 100 "smart cities" across the country.
July 20, 2014 -- Updated 1127 GMT (1927 HKT)
Inspirational, creepy or just weird? CNN meets the 51-year-old man who dresses like a schoolgirl.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1100 GMT (1900 HKT)
A British nanotech company has created what it says is the world's darkest material.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1112 GMT (1912 HKT)
Yoga, meditation and watching a snake eat a frog alive: these are some of the experiences to be had at this Himalayan yoga retreat.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1152 GMT (1952 HKT)
The world's largest flying aquatic insect, with huge, nightmarish pincers, has been discovered in China's Sichuan province, experts say.
Today's five most popular stories