A 10-year-old boy is recovering after he fell out of a tree and landed face first on a meat skewer.
Xavier Cunningham fell when he was attacked by wasps in the garden of his family home in Missouri on Saturday.
The meat skewer penetrated his skull from his face to the back of his head, miraculously missing his eye, brain, spinal cord and major blood vessels, The Kansas City Star reported.
Xavier’s mother Gabrielle Miller was alerted to the accident by her son’s screams. Running outside she saw her son had been impaled and that half a foot of skewer was still sticking out of his face.
Miller tried to reassure her son, who told her “I’m dying, Mom” as they rushed to the hospital. He eventually was transferred to the University of Kansas Hospital, where endovascular neurosurgery director Koji Ebersole examined the wound.
“You couldn’t draw it up any better,” Ebersole said. “It was one in a million for it to pass 5 or 6 inches through the front of the face to the back and not have hit these things.”
There was no active bleeding, allowing the hospital time to get personnel in place for a removal surgery on Sunday morning that was complicated by the fact that the skewer wasn’t round. Because it was square, with sharp edges, it would have to come out perfectly straight. Twisting it could cause additional severe injury.
“Miraculous” would be an appropriate word to describe what happened, Ebersole said.
Doctors believe Xavier will recover completely.
“I have not seen anything passed to that depth in a situation that was survivable, let alone one where we think the recovery will be near complete if not complete,” he said.