"I couldn't believe what I saw. He was conscious when he came out of the water. He was holding the spear and speaking to everybody," said Douglas Martin, Abreu's fishing partner.
Abreu was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent a five-hour operation. Doctors say the spear just missed the most critical areas of Abreu's brain.
"I think the only side effect he should expect from this injury is maybe having his sense of smell a bit impaired," said surgeon Manoel Moreira.
Doctors expect that Abreu will be able to go home from the hospital within a week.
"It's a miracle," said Abreu's aunt, Dilene Moreira. "Only God can explain what happened."
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