Doctors believe the 80-year-old woman is in this condition due to a failed abortion attempt by her parents.

It was decided not to remove the needle for fear of worsening her condition.

The local health department in Russia's Sakhalin region said, "Such cases were not uncommon during the famine years. His parents probably decided to send their child to die during the second world war. He has been living with a 3 cm long needle since birth."

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Food shortages were widespread in the Soviet Union during the war and many people lived in poverty.

"The needle entered her left parietal lobe, but did not have the intended effect; she survived," the local health department said, adding that the patient never complained of a headache from the injury and was not in any danger.

Her condition is being monitored by the attending physician.