This is 10-year-old Xavier. He was climbing a tree house this weekend when he was attacked by yellowjackets and fell face-first onto a meat skewer, which was sticking out of the ground. His family says it's a miracle he's alive. I'll have the story tonight at 9 on @fox4kc. pic.twitter.com/dKq5qkzRmj— Zac Summers (@ZacOnTV) September 11, 2018
A boy in Missouri tumbled from a tree and landed face-first on a meat skewer that was on the ground. Miraculously, he survived.
Xavier Cunningham was climbing his neighbor’s tree house with his friends when he tripped over a massive yellow jet nest. The 10-year-old was the first one on the ladder; he tried to swat the bees away but lost his balance and fell to the ground.
As he landed on the ground, a metal skewer pierced through his face and he was covered in yellow jackets. Xavier’s mother, Gabrielle Miller, heard him screaming and came to see what had happened. As soon as she saw the half a foot skewer sticking out of her son’s face, she rushed him to the hospital.
Gabrielle said as they made their way to the hospital, Xavier kept telling her, “I’m dying, Mom.”
When they arrived at the nearby hospital, authorities told the Gabrielle they were not equipped to treat the injury and told them to rush to University of Kansas Hospital.
When they arrived there, endovascular neurosurgery director Koji Ebersole examined Xavier. After conducting an x-ray, the doctor found out that the skewer had miraculously missed the boy’s eye, brain, spinal cord and major blood vessels.
Moreover, there was no active bleeding which made it easier for the doctors to perform a removal surgery.
However, the surgery wasn’t that easy because the skewer was square, with sharp edges. This meant the doctors had to be extremely careful while removing it from the boy’s face so that nothing else gets injured.
“You couldn’t draw it up any better. It was one in a million for it to pass five or six inches through the front of the face to the back and not have hit these things,” said Ebersole.
He further described the incident as “miraculous” and said, “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.”
Ebersole said Xavier might be sore for a while and he might also experience some voice changes because the skewer was very close to his vocal cords.
The boy’s stepfather, Shannon Miller, explained the incident and said, “He fell down on it. He said he felt something hot and burning in his face and then saw the end of it and immediately knew what had happened. I think the yellow jackets were more painful for him at the time”
Shannon added Xavier got covered in bees and he then started running towards his house, screaming in horror, “‘Get them off me! Get them off me!’”
The stepfather also recounted the horror he and his wife had to go through to see their son in such pain but he was glad and thankful to God and Xavier’s medical team for helping his son.
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