Advertisement

The x-ray image that made the rounds on social media was startling and almost unbelievable. It showed the result of a tumble from the heights of treehouse by a 10-year-old boy named Xavier Cunningham.

The fall on its own would have delivered at least a few bruises, but the boy landed face-first onto a metal meat skewer protruding from the ground. (Cunningham and his friends had found the skewer in their scavenging and placed it into the ground shortly before ascending to the treehouse.) Entering below the left eye, the skewer was driven all the way through his head.

A resident of Harrisonville, Missouri, the boy was first taken to the local hospital, then tranferred to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City before winding up a few miles away at the University of Kansas Hospital for a delicate procedure to remove the foreign object.

“This thing had spared the eye, spared the brain, spared the spinal cord,” Koji Ebersole, MD, the director of endovascular neurosurgery with the University of Kansas Health System, told The Kansas City Star. “But the major concern was the blood vessels in the neck.”

This video by Cliff Erwin for Medical News Network offers details of the boy's surgical treatment.

Advertisement
Advertisement