A boy has “miraculously” survived after a meat skewer penetrated his skull from his face to the back of his head.
Xavier Cunningham fell from a tree house in Kansas after being attacked by insects and landed on the sharp metal spit, which was fixed upright beneath.
The skewer completely missed the 10-year-old’s eye, brain, spinal cord and major blood vessels – but doctors say the outcome could have been drastically different.
Dr Koji Ebersole, the neurologist who treated Xavier, said: “You couldn’t draw it up any better. It was one in a million for it to pass five or six inches through the front of the face to the back and not have hit these things.
“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.”
Xavier’s mother ran to help him after hearing his screams following the accident on Saturday afternoon, when he told her: “I’m dying, mom.”
Thankfully, there was no active bleeding – and this gave the hospital time to get doctors in place for a removal surgery on Sunday morning.
Because the skewer was square with sharp edges, the instrument needed to come out perfectly straight, and any error could have made his injuries more serious.
About 100 medical workers were involved in Xavier’s surgery.
Dr Ebersole said: “He proved to be remarkably brave.”
It is believed that Xavier could completely recover from his ordeal.