Doctors remain optimistic that a teen will survive after a spear shot through his skull. Yasser Lopez, a 16-year old boy, is in day 11 of his recovery after a three foot spear shot through his brain on June 7. A friend shot Lopez by accident.
“It’s a striking injury,” said Dr. George Garcia, trauma surgeon at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. “It’s something you don’t see everyday to have a patient arrive awake and speaking with a three-foot spear through his head.”
“It was about one inch above his right eye and then straight through,” said Dr. Garcia. “You could feel the tip underneath his skin on the posterior part of his skull.”
The doctors say that the boy was saved by refusing the temptation to pull the spear out of his head. Doctors left the spear in the boy’s head and had to cut off 18 inches of it to fit him into the x-ray machine.
“It was possible for us to figure out a strategy during the operation to be able to unscrew the tip of the spear, inside of having to get this whole spear dragged out through his brain,” said Dr. Ross Bullock, a trauma surgeon.
“We quickly got our anesthesiology colleagues to sedate him and intubate him and put a breathing tube in and then chemically paralyzed him so he would remain still, the spear wouldn’t move,” said Dr. Garcia.
Amazingly, the spear missed every major blood vessel in the boy’s brain and cut through the right side, not the left, which kept his speech from being impaired.
“His words are actually, amazingly easy to understand,” said Bullock. “For example he says he’s not having pain, he’s worried about the fact he can’t use his left-side properly.”
He has no recollection of being shot.