When Charlie Quimby arrived at a Maine hospital Sunday with a small metal ball buried in his brain, the outlook was so grave that a priest read his last rites before two hours were up. Then Quimby sat up and said hello. "I'm telling you, it was right after the priest did his thing. I believe that that kind of played into it," his mother tells the Bangor Daily News, describing how a heavily-medicated Quimby began pulling at his IV tubes and responding to doctors' commands. It was a remarkable turn considering doctors had thought the Skowhegan teen would die from a BB fired through his left temple, buried deeply enough in his brain as to rule out surgery, per Fox News. But "I know my son, he's really strong," Lauri Quimby, 45, tells the Daily News. "It just wasn't meant to be that he'd die."
By Monday, Quimby, 19, was free from a ventilator and breathing on his own, his mother says. On Tuesday, he was upgraded from critical to serious condition, per WCSH. "He's doing a little better. He's going to make it," says Quimby's father, Jade Goodridge. There's still plenty of recovery ahead, though: With the BB likely to remain where it is, Quimby could suffer eyesight issues along with "problems with balance and coordination," Goodridge says. He adds he "doesn't really know the facts of how it all went down," but was told the shooting was an accident. Police, continuing to investigate, believe Quimby's friend, 20-year-old William McCarty, fired the fateful BB while the two were hanging out at McCarty's home. McCarty then called 911. No criminal charges have been filed. (Read more Maine stories.)