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Boy's Survival 'Miraculous' After Skewer Pierces Skull

It missed his brain, eye, spine, major blood vessels
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 13, 2018 2:33 AM CDT
This X-ray provided by the Medical News Network shows a meat skewer impaled in the skull of Xavier Cunningham after an accident at his home Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Harrisonville, Mo.   (Medical News Network via AP)
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(Newser) – A 10-year-old Missouri boy is recovering after he was attacked by insects and tumbled from a tree, landing on a meat skewer that penetrated his skull from his face to the back of his head. But miraculously, that's where Xavier Cunningham's bad luck ended. The skewer had completely missed Xavier's eye, brain, spinal cord, and major blood vessels, the Kansas City Star reports. Xavier's harrowing experience began Saturday afternoon when yellowjackets attacked him in a tree house at his home in Harrisonville, about 35 miles south of Kansas City. He fell to the ground and started to scream. His mother, Gabrielle Miller, ran to help him. His skull was pierced from front-to-back with half a foot of skewer 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 evaluated the wound. "You couldn't draw it up any better," Ebersole says. "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." Doctors think Xavier could 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," says Ebersole, who believes "miraculous" would be an appropriate word to describe what happened.

(Read more Missouri stories.)

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