Some accidents and injuries can result in instant death. We all know these very well, like a bullet to the brain or a stab wound to the heart. Human beings are just not made to withstand such a violent attack. But one ten-year-old boy proves that our preconceptions about such injuries are not always correct. As if by the hand of fate, the boy has survived after a twelve-inch metal skewer pierced his skull but did not injure his brain or any major arteries.
Little Xavier Cunningham was enjoying a fun game of make-believe in a tree house when a swarm of wasps suddenly appeared. They were angry, so Xavier had no choice but to flee for his safety. Xavier hurried down the tree house ladder but slipped on a rung and fell to the grass below. However, a metal skewer was protruding from the grass for some reason and stabbed him directly into the skull. Thankfully, the Missouri boy was able to get help and was rushed to the nearby University of Kansas Health System, where doctors could not believe what was happening.
As if by a miracle, nothing significant in his brain or circulatory system was injured. Xavier was not going to perish after having the spike jammed into his skull all the way to the back of his head.
Dr. Koji Ebersole is the director of endovascular neurosurgery at the hospital. And he admitted his shock that the rod missed the carotid and vertebral arteries by just a millimeter. The boy was only a millimeter or 1/32 of an inch from killing him. The spike did strike his jugular vein but it miraculous applied enough pressure to stop internal bleeding.
The rod punctured Xavier’s cheek and went all the way through his head to the back of his skull.
“He could’ve bled to death in that field, covered in yellow jackets,” his father Shannon Miller said.
Meanwhile, Xavier’s mother, Gabrielle Miller, remembered that during the ambulance ride, her son had said, “I’m dying, mom.”
The people at the hospital were just as shocked that he wasn’t dying.
“I have never seen something pas that deep through the face and skull and have the person live to tell about it,” Dr. Ebersole said. He has twenty-years of medical experience under his belt. “But it was a problem we were able to solve it. The device (rod) itself was causing pressure that was enough to stop any bleeding.”
Dr. Ebersole and his team needed to protect Xavier’s airways.
“I think it’s definitely appropriate to say there’s no textbook answer. We had to improvise and come up with plan A, plan B, plan C.”
Xavier may have a new outlook on life after his near-death experience.
In the end, Dr. Ebersole doubts he’ll ever see something like it again.
“It was one in a million, the trajectory of that thing . . . if this thing had taken a different trajectory, this thing would not have been survivable.”
What do you think about this miraculous situation?