Thursday, December 17, 2009
I read this news article with interest. Coming from Borneo, I didn't find it incredible. When I was 17, my friend R told me that her married uncle was dying in his thirties, falling sick out of the blue, and the western doctors couldn't heal him, the family consults a woman medium.
According to R who swore she personally saw it, her uncle had been put on a hex by w vicious woman whom he had jilted and returned to his wife. The needles were slowly traveling to his heart. When they reach that destination, he would die.
So there was this big ceremony of extracting the needles, and R insisted she personally saw the medium extract needles from all parts of her uncle's body.
I wasn't sure whether she was telling the truth, or whether the medium got the needles from else where and pretended to extract the needles.
In the New Zealand Herald today, I read a similar case in Brazil.
Here is a short story I wrote a few years ago. It is fiction, but based on the environment I grew up in Borneo.
Toddler has 50 needles stuck in body, black magic suspected
9:30 AM Thursday Dec 17, 2009
An x-ray of a two-year-old boy showing needles inside his body in a hospital in Ibotirama, northern Brazil. Photo / AP
BRASILIA, Brazil - A two-year-old Brazilian boy has as many as 50 metal sewing needles inside his body and a doctor treating the boy said Wednesday they were apparently stuck there one by one.
Dr. Luiz Cesar Soltoski said surgeons hope to remove most of the needles - some as long as 5cm - but because some are stuck in his lungs, they have to wait until the child's breathing improves.
Some cannot be removed; they are too close to vital organs or actually inside them, Soltoski said.
The boy's mother, a maid, brought him to a hospital in the small northeastern city of Ibotirama, saying he was complaining of pain. Three days later, after X-rays revealed some of the needles, doctors had him shifted to a larger hospital in Barreiras.
The mother told police she doesn't know how the needles got inside her son, but police have opened an investigation. The boy's name was withheld because of his age.
The boy's father, Gessivaldo Alves, told Brazil's A Tarde newspaper that he believes his son could have been a victim of a black magic ritual.