Man lives with pencil inside head fifteen years


A 24-year old man in Berlin, Germany, lived for fifteen years with a pencil inside of his head without a clue that it was the cause behind his nagging medical complaints.

Apparently, the gentleman, who is originally from Afghanistan, had no clue that a pencil was what was behind the medical problems he had been experiencing, which eventually led him to seek a doctor’s care.

After he complained to a doctor about having headaches, impaired vision, and also discharge leaking from his right nostril, doctors performed a CT scan on him. They discovered that he had a four inch (ten centimeter) long stub of a No. 2 pencil, which had lodged in the back of the throat and damaged his eye socket, embedded in his head.

The No. 2 was discovered via a Computerised Tomography or CT scan.

Surgeons in 2011, at Aachen University Hospital, the largest hospital in all of Europe, performed a successful procedure to have the pencil removed from the young man’s head.

The man recovered successfully from his surgery. Despite some blurred vision, he was out of the hospital after a few days.

The story behind exactly how the pencil became embedded in the man’s head and back of his throat is a bit hazy to him. He recalls that he took a pretty nasty fall when he was a young boy, and that the fall resulted in a serious nosebleed.

What was the cause of his fall? Why was their a pencil so dangerously close to him? It sounds too much like a golf scoring incident in a game with the Joker, one gone terribly, terribly wrong.

The details of the case were just revealed in a presentation in Germany this week.

If you’re wondering whether or not similar instances have happened in the past, to other people, I’ll tell you — yes, they have.

The instances include another example from Germany.  In 2007, a woman complained of headaches and nosebleeds. Surgeons discovered and removed a pencil from her head that had been inside of it for more than fifty years.

The woman was Margret Wegner, who in 2007 was 59. She fell over while carrying a pencil when she was four years old.

“The pencil went right through my skin – and disappeared into my head,” she said at the time.

The doctors weren’t able to remove all of that particular pencil. She still has a piece of it that is approximately four-fifths of an inch long inside her head.

Want to see a picture of the pencil that was removed from the unidentified German man’s head? It’s kind of gross, but here it is, below, for your viewing pleasure and edification:




It’s the type of “write stuff” that I don’t believe the author Tom Wolfe was referring to that the Apollo astronauts had.


Written by: Douglas Cobb

One Response to "Man lives with pencil inside head fifteen years"

  1. Wildlily44 (@Wildlily44)   May 30, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Informative and well written article. Thank you for sharing this interesting medical story.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.