Xavier Cunningham, a 10-year-old boy from Harrisonville, Missouri, is spending some quality time in the hospital after a freak accident in which he impaled his head on a meat skewer.
He was playing with a neighbor in their treehouse approximately 15 feet above the ground when they were suddenly attacked by a swarm of yellow jacket bees. Xavier hurried down the ladder to escape the stings, but when he used one hand to try to swat away the attacking swarm after being stung, he lost his grip and fell face first onto a metal skewer that he and his friends had found earlier and were playing with.
The skewer penetrated him right by his nose and came out the back of his skull.
Xavier’s mom, Gabrielle Miller, told BuzzFeed:
He said he just felt something really sharp and hot.
Xavier ran into his mother’s house for help, and she said when she first saw him, she thought he’d been shot with a bow and arrow. She rushed him to a local hospital, skewer still in place, and they decided to transfer him to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.
Then, according to BuzzFeed:
That night, he was transferred a second time to the University of Kansas Health System, where a team of about 100 doctors from different specialities devised a plan to safely remove the skewer, which had narrowly missed major blood vessels, brain structures, and other organs, Dr. Koji Ebersole, director of endovascular neurology at University of Kansas Health System, told Medical News Network.
Ebersole went on to explain:
If it hit his carotid artery, which it was immediately adjacent to, I think he probably would’ve had such dramatic bleeding in a short amount of time that it would’ve swelled up in the neck and closed off his airway and he wouldn’t have survived it.
Xavier waited, skewer still lodged in his face, until the surgical team decided how to remove it without causing additional damage. On Sunday morning they successfully performed the procedure, a collaboration between surgeons with specialties in ENT, brain, trauma, and many more.
Ebersole explained that Xavier’s ability to remain calm was a big factor in what kept him alive. If he had, in the heat of the moment, tried to remove the skewer himself, it may have caused trauma to the area, including his carotid artery.
Xavier is expected to make a full recovery and is in such good spirits he wants to keep the skewer as a souvenir.
People couldn’t believe the day Xavier had.
Wow. What a horrible, no good, very bad day. Poor kid, glad he’s recovering. Wow.— Blue in Pa. (@annielaud) September 15, 2018
Definition of a very bad day— Austin Dennis (@Austin61Dennis) September 15, 2018
Talk about a bad day..— John Holloway (@jhollowayjr) September 15, 2018
Others had this pertinent question…
Is there anyone else wondering why there is a meat skewer right under a tree house?— Tim Mahoney (@Tice_Mahoney) September 15, 2018
What was a meat skewer doing outside— divergent (@Dauntless_thg) September 15, 2018
Who places meat skewers under their kids treehouse?— JDM (@florigonian) September 15, 2018
Which prompted this explanation from someone who read the story…
You must not have read the story. The boys found the meat skewer on the ground and poked it into the ground to avoid anyone stepping on it. Typical boy or should I say child move, rather than find a trashcan. So happy this had a happy ending.— Give 'Em Hell Chelle (@Chelle_Shocker) September 16, 2018
Most people couldn’t believe Xavier’s luck.
This kid ? & those doctors/nurses are all a miracle. Glad this kid made it.— Aya Rifai, MD (@Aya_RifaiMD) September 16, 2018
Omg its nothing short of a miracle! And I think I have had bad days! I think of Chris Farley in tommy boy” Bees, bees, run for your life, save yourself!!!!??— davidv (@DVedella) September 16, 2018
Yikes! That's one lucky kid!— International Mookie (@mookiemueller) September 15, 2018
Amazingly fortunate that such an unfortunate set of events nonetheless had a happy ending ?— Paul Denys (@PaDenys) September 15, 2018
If not THE worst.
This is by far, one of the worst superhero origin stories.— Richard Alejandro (@realejandro85) September 15, 2018
We wish Xavier a speedy recovery!