The saying ‘looking for a needle in a haystack’ acquires new meaning when a woman in China was discovered with 26 needles embedded in her body. The needles were believed to have been inserted by her grandmother and grandfather who were upset that she was not a boy. In the country with the biggest population in the world, Chinese couples were only allowed one child each. Perhaps the grandparents hoped the girl would die from the insertion of foreign objects into her body but she survived to give birth to her own child. The grandparents are now dead.

The needles were only discovered when 29-year-old Luo Cuifen took an e-ray after complaining of blood in her urine. But surgery would be delicate and highly risky as the sewing needles have penetrated vital organs including her lungs, liver, bladder, small intestine, kidney, and brain. A panel of 16 doctors from as far as Canada has been assembled to operate on the woman. If she survives the operation, she will be a living miracle of what the human body can endure.