A Missouri boy is lucky to be alive after a series of improbable events ended with a 10-inch-long meat skewer impaled in his head, The Washington Post is reporting.
Ten-year-old Xavier Cunningham and his friends were doing what boys that age do, roughhousing and enjoying the day when they climbed into a treehouse in the western Missouri yard where they were playing. As Xavier was at the top of the ladder leading up to the treehouse, the boys realized that they’d stirred up a nest of yellowjackets. As Xavier tried to wave the stinging insects away from his face, he lost his balance and fell.
Unfortunately, he fell right onto the nest of yellow jackets he and his playmates had stirred up, and even worse, onto a meat skewer that the boys had earlier shoved into the ground.
Xavier’s mom, Shannon Miller, said that the young lad was more concerned about the bugs than he was with the metal rod protruding from his head.
“He said he felt something hot and burning in his face and then saw the end of it and immediately knew what had happened. [He started running to the house yelling], ‘Get them off me! Get them off me!'”
The boy’s parents were, of course, far more concerned about the metal skewer protruding from his head than they were about the bugs. They rushed him to a hospital in nearby Harrisonville, about 40 miles outside of Kansas City. Unfortunately, the small-town hospital wasn’t equipped to handle such a gruesome injury. He was transferred to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, which also couldn’t handle the injury, so he was sent to the University of Kansas Hospital.
Xavier’s surgeon said that the way the skewer impaled the boy was nothing short of a miracle. It entered just below his nose, missed all of his major neural arteries, and stopped short of poking out the back of his head.
As the boy’s medical team worked to devise a plan, the devoutly Christian family prayed. Xavier got little sleep that night, often waking up and asking, in tears, if he was still alive, says his mom.
Fortunately, after an hours-long surgery, doctors removed the metal skewer from the boy’s head. He appears to have suffered no long-term effects, according to WDAF-TV (Kansas City).
Now on the mend, Xavier has been back to his old self, wiling away the hours playing Xbox. Doctors say that he should be able to return home in a few days.