A 59-year-old woman who has suffered blinding headaches since she was four years old has finally had an 8cm long pencil removed from her skull.
Margaret Wegner underwent the risky procedure in Berlin at the weekend to remove the pencil, which showed up on a computer brain scan.
When she saw the image of the white pencil, snapped in two places, she recalled an accident in the town of Dessau when she was four.
"I remember tripping over and the pencil I was holding disappeared," she said. "I had a pain in my head the pencil, it seems, had penetrated the skin and bored straight into my skull."
The pencil missed an artery and nerve endings in the brain by a whisker. Doctors at the time deemed it too risky to operate. That remained the consensus among many doctors over the years but the large part of the pencil was finally removed.
The 2cm tip is still embedded. It has been overgrown by nerves and blood cells which are too dangerous to cut through.