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Brazilian ‘needle boy’ to leave hospital

January 21st, 2010

A two-year-old Brazilian boy who had 32 sewing needles inserted into his body by his former stepfather during “black magic” rituals will leave hospital after a month of operations and recovery, doctors said Wednesday.

The boy, who was identified only by his initials M.A.S. because of his young age, was admitted to the Ana Neri Hospital in Brazil’s northeastern city of Salvador on December 17, after doctors in his home town of Barreiras determined his life was in danger.

He underwent three complicated operations to remove needles that were close to his heart, lungs and liver. Around five the slivers remain in his body and are to be removed later in simpler, outpatient surgery.

The boy’s former stepfather, 30-year-old bricklayer Roberto Carlos Magalhaes, confessed to driving the needles into the boy one by one, over a month, as part of a black magic ritual aimed at getting back at his ex-wife, the boy’s mother.

The northeastern region where the boy lives is heavily populated by the descendants of African slaves, many of whom observe rites similar to voodoo practiced in Haiti and West Africa.

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