A 10-year-old boy from the United States is recovering after being attacked by insects and fell from a tree, landing on a skewer of flesh that pierced his skull from his face to the back of his head.
But miraculously, that's where the bad luck of Xavier Cunningham ended. The skewer had completely bypassed Xavier's eye, brain, spinal cord and major blood vessels, reports The Kansas City Star in Missouri.
Xavier's distressing experience began on Saturday afternoon when the yellow jackets attacked him in a tree house at his home in Harrisonville, about 56 km south of Kansas City. She fell to the ground and her mother, Gabrielle Miller, ran down the stairs when she heard screams. His skull was pierced from front to back with 15 cm of brooch still protruding from his face.
Miller tried to reassure his son, who said "I'm dying, mom" as they ran to the hospital. Eventually he was transferred to the University Hospital of Kansas, where the director of endovascular neurosurgery Koji Ebersole evaluated the wound.
"You can not draw better," Ebersole said. "It was one in a million to pass five or six inches through the front of the face to the back and not have hit these things."
There was no active bleeding, which allowed the hospital to have time to hire staff for a removal surgery on Sunday morning, which was complicated by the fact that the skewer was not round. Because it was square, with sharp edges, it would have to come out perfectly straight. Twisting it could cause additional severe injuries.
"Miraculous" would be an appropriate word to describe what happened, Ebersole said.
The doctors believe that Xavier could recover completely.
"I have not seen anything that has happened to that depth in a situation that was survivable, let alone one in which we think the recovery will be almost complete if it does not complete," he said.