A bar fight literally came to a head in Brazil when a drunk man was stabbed three times at a party — including his head. Juacelo Nunes de Oliveira, 39, drove for nearly three hours to a nearby hospital before being transferred to the Emergency Hospital of Teresina, after suffering knife wounds to his chest, throat, shoulder, and what he would later learn, his head. Doctors recall de Oliveira “wasn’t aware” he had a 12-inch knife protruding from his skull when he came to seek medical care.

"It took him nearly three hours to arrive here at the hospital," Dr. Gilberto Albuquerque, general surgeon and hospital director, told CNN. "He had the knife lodged in his head for this whole period, but he was not aware of it," he said. "We believe the shock and a bit of the drinking may have helped him not to understand the knife was still in his head."

De Oliveira remains in disbelief to have survived the potentially fatal stabbing after seeing the handle of the knife protruding from his head. The motorcycle taxi driver claims he did not see the moment of the initial stabbing by the four men, but he did not faint or lose consciousness at any point.

"I thought I would die and only came to believe when I saw what happened to me, because if someone told me I would not have believed it," de Oliveira told G1 news, a Brazilian news organization.

Symptoms of a penetrating brain injury can range from heavy bleeding from the head to a loss of consciousness or even a coma after the injury, says the NYU Langone Medical Center. This type of brain injury is serious and life-threatening. It requires emergency medical care.

Francisca Pereira, de Oliveira’s wife, is baffled her husband went hours with the knife in his skull and still managed to escape death. She told G1: "I did not believe when I saw my husband like that. ... I thought he was going to die. It was a miracle."

The man barely made it unscathed, as he could’ve been blinded and lost his senses of smell and taste. Gilberto Albuquerque, the director of the hospital in Teresina, found the knife passed through several nerves and veins, which are structures that can quickly kill a patient. The knife crossed de Oliveira’s head just behind the optical nerve, getting very close to the olfactory nerve and not too far from the gustatory nerve. The knife only stopped when it got stuck in his lower jaw.

The risky hospital procedure to remove the knife took two and a half hours to complete. It was considered delicate, since any slip could have ruptured arteries and led de Oliveira to bleed to death. Luckily, the man’s surgery was considered a success, and he was able to walk out the hospital five days later.

De Oliveira isn’t the first man to escape death from a knife stab to the head. In 2013, a man identified as Ho Lung calmly walked into a hospital in the Jilin province in northeast China to seek help to remove a 10-inch fruit knife from his skull. An emergency X-ray showed the knife blade penetrated through his skull and into his brain but had missed his main blood vessels.

When asked how the knife was lodged into his head, Lung said, "It's like this: I was playing a silly game with my friend and it went wrong and I ended up with a knife in the head. It was just a silly mistake and it could have happened to anybody,” the Mirror reported.

Doctors performed a three-hour operation to remove the blade without causing any significant damage. Following the procedure, Lung was able to discharge himself after he told medics he would come back for a check-up.

Lung, just like de Oliveira, barely made it unscathed from his life-threatening wounds and risky surgical procedures.