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Woman preparing to undo attempt on her life - 29 years later

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A 29-year old Yunnan woman is preparing to undergo surgery to remove 26 needles believed to be embedded by her grandparents when she was an infant in an apparent attempt at female infanticide.

The needles were discovered throughout the body of Luo Cuifen of Songming when she took an x-ray during a visit to a doctor. Luo had recently given birth and afterward had blood in her urine. According to an International Herald Tribune article, Luo and her doctors at Richland International Hospital in Kunming believe that her grandparents - both of whom are now deceased - filled her with needles when she was an infant because they wanted a grandson. According to a Richland spokesman quoted in the article, needles are threatening Luo's lungs, liver, kidneys and other vital organs

According to a press release by Richland, Luo has suffered from severe depression, anxiety and chronic insomnia. She has also been incapable of heavy lifting or hard physical labor. Tomorrow's surgery will attempt to remove six needles from her abdomen and will be followed by another surgery on Friday. Friday's operation is expected to involve 23 Chinese, Canadian and American doctors with backgrounds in gynecology, neurology and cardiology.

China's one-child policy combined with the Chinese tradition of sons taking care of parents and continuing his family's name has created a major gender imbalance nationwide due to the practice of female infanticide - particularly in the countryside, which is home to roughly 900 million Chinese. Government statistics estimate that 119 boys are born in China for every 100 girls.

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