Boy survives after meat skewer pierces skull

SHARE Boy survives after meat skewer pierces skull
meat_skewer_in_skull_xray_e1536788369767.jpg

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 on Sept. 8, 2018 in Harrisonville, Mo. Cunningham’s experience began when yellow jackets attacked him in a tree house and he tumbled from the tree, landing on the skewer. The skewer had completely missed the boy’s eye, brain, spinal cord and major blood vessels and doctors think he could recover completely. | Medical News Network via AP

HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — 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 yellow jackets 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.

Xavier Cunningham | Shannon Miller via AP

Xavier Cunningham | Shannon Miller via AP

“You couldn’t draw it up any better,” Ebersole said. “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.”

There was no active bleeding, allowing the hospital time to get personnel in place for a removal surgery on Sunday morning that was complicated by the fact that the skewer wasn’t round. Because it was square, with sharp edges, it would have to come out perfectly straight. Twisting it could cause additional severe injury.

“Miraculous” would be an appropriate word to describe what happened, Ebersole said.

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,” he said.

The Latest
The man, 21, was found with gunshot wounds to his back and left shoulder in the 9600 block of South Princeton Avenue about 11:35 p.m., police said.
The man, 45, was found by officers with multiple gunshot wounds in the 10700 block of South Champlain Avenue.
NHL
No Cup celebration for Avs as Palat’s goal with 6:22 remaining helps Lightning stave off elimination
But the bigger concern is the Sox’ offense, which managed only one hit Friday.