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Last Updated: Monday, 1 October 2007, 06:11 GMT 07:11 UK
Belly stud 'almost killed teen'
Jessica Collins (picture: South Wales Echo)
Jessica Collins remains in a Munich hospital (picture: South Wales Echo)
An art student who fears she was almost killed by her belly button stud in a car accident has warned about the potential dangers of body piercings.

Jessica Collins' seatbelt forced the stud through her stomach almost to her spine in the crash in Munich.

Her mother, Amanda, of Cardiff, compared the impact to a bullet and said her daughter was lucky to survive.

From her German hospital bed Jessica, 19, who hopes to return home soon, has urged friends to remove their studs.

The crash a week ago while she was on a working holiday taking photographs of cathedrals, left the student with facial injuries and blood on her brain.

But her family, who flew out to be with her, say the most serious damage was the result of her seat belt thrusting the piercing into her stomach.

Jessica Collins's belly button stud
I can't say I've ever heard of anything like this before, but for a decorative bit of jewellery it's not worth the risk
Chris Beadle, Jessica's stepfather

She lost blood and underwent a three-hour operation. Her mother will stay in Munich until the 19-year-old can leave hospital.

Her stepfather, Chris Beadle, who has returned to the family home in Radyr, Cardiff, said: "She's only a slight girl to start with, but the lap belt has pulled so tightly that the front part of her waist was pushed up against her spine.

"The doctor described it like a bullet hole.

'Freak accident'

"He was fascinated from a medical point of view. He'd never seen anything like it before".

Jessica, who is studying at Pontypridd College, had had the stud since she was 15.

But Mr Beadle said his step daughter was determined to make others with piercings aware of the possible risks.

Jessica Collins's wounds
The wounds on Jessica's stomach as she recovers in hospital

"When she started realising what had happened, she was adamant that she didn't want it happening to anyone else," he said.

He said many of Jessica's friends had removed their own studs since the crash.

"It was a freak accident. I can't say I've ever heard of anything like this before, but for a decorative bit of jewellery, it's not worth the risk."

A friend who was driving, Devdutt Shaftri, of Butetown, Cardiff, received a broken leg in the crash, and has been released from hospital.

The family say police told them nobody was at fault for the crash.

Jessica was in intensive care for five days, and is not expected to return to the UK until the week after next.

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