MISSOURI (CBS) — A little boy in Missouri is recovering after being impaled on a skewer. Dozens of medical specialists were consulted about the best way to save the boy as figuring out how to remove a skewer from his skull was especially tricky.
It’s amazing that 10-year-old Xavier Cunningham has just a band-aid on his face considering that surgeons confronted a meat skewer that was lodged through the boy’s skull.
“This is the carotid artery. This is another artery, and this is the device passing immediately adjacent to those vessels,” said Dr. Koji Ebersole of the University of Kansas Hospital.
Xavier had been in his tree house when a swarm of yellowjackets began to attack him and his friends.
As they scrambled to get down the ladder, Xavier fell onto the skewer that was sticking out of the ground.
“He came in and he had this thing just sticking out,” explains Gabrielle Miller, his mother.
His horrified parents got him into a car and drove him to a hospital.
“He goes, ‘I’m dying mom I can feel it,'” said Miller.
Images showed the skewer had completely missed Xavier’s eye, brain, spinal cord, and major blood vessels.
“If this was a millimeter closer, it probably would’ve been an unsurvivable injury,” said Ebersole.
The skewer had a barb on the end of it. Doctors were concerned that pulling it out could cause extensive tissue damage or even death.
“We didn’t know if we should cut it and try to pull it through the opposite side to not have to go back to the tissue with a barb,” said Ebersole.
Surgeons were able to gently pull it out without causing any additional tissue damage.
“The most important thing was that as it passed through there. I don’t know why, it just missed everything important along the way,” added Ebersole.
And just one day after surgery, Xavier has been playing his favorite football games on Xbox.
Doctors say Xavier is incredibly lucky and that he could be back out playing football in as little as two weeks.