RIO DE JANIERO-A Brazilian woman survived being shot in the mouth with a harpoon.

The x-ray taken at Rio de Janeiro Health Ministry shows the harpoon lodged in her spine.

Authorities say Elisangela Borborema Rosa's husband was handling the weapon when the gun misfired.

'The peculiarity of the accident is that the tip of harpoon penetrated the region between her top vertebrae and the spinal cord. If the object hit only 1 cm to one side the patient would have become a quadriplegic. If it had hit 1 cm to the other side or reach one artery to the brain, she would have been dead,' said neurosurgeon Allan da Costa.

The 28-year-old is expected to fully recover and could be released next week.

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