Brazilian health officials say a 28-year-old woman miraculously survived after her husband accidentally shot her in the mouth with a harpoon.

The Rio de Janeiro State Health Department says in a Wednesday statement that the woman's husband was cleaning his spear gun when it went off, firing a harpoon that hit her cervical spine.

Elisangela Borborema Rosa was rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery.

The statement quotes neurosurgeon Allan da Costa as saying that the harpoon came within one centimeter (less than half an inch) of killing the woman.

He said he expects a full recovery.

The incident occurred May 6 in the coastal city of Arraial do Cabo.