10-year-old boy recovering after being impaled by meat skewer through his face

Posted at 2:38 PM, Sep 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-15 16:48:50-04

KANSAS – A 10-year-old boy is making a miraculous recovery after being impaled by a foot-long meat skewer through his face.

Xavier Cunningham was playing in his treehouse when a swarm of yellow jackets began stinging him and his friend. The two tried to run away, but Xavier fell from the treehouse ladder and landed on the meat skewer as it went right through his face to the base of his skull.

“He thinks he fell about four feet… is what he said. But one stung his hand, so just out of reaction he went to hit it. And he fell, and he said he just shut his eyes. And then he just felt something like really sharp and hot and opened his eyes, and it was just… ‘Get to Mom, get to Mom,” Xavier’s mom said.

The 10-year-old’s mother rushed him to a local hospital where he was then transferred to another two hospitals for treatment. “He got himself in the car. We got the ER, he opened the door, got out, and my side was locked, and I was trying to think, ‘Why can’t I get out, ok, unlock the door.’ And he’s like, ‘Come on Mom, we gotta go.'”

Xavier then arrived at the University of Kansas, where a team of nearly a hundred medical experts worked to remove the skewer safely from the boy’s head.

“As it passed through there, I don’t know why… it just missed everything important along the way. If it had hit the carotid artery, which it was immediately adjacent to, I think he would have probably had such dramatic bleeding in such a short amount of time, that it would have swelled up in the neck, and it would have closed off his airway, and he would not have survived it,” said Neurosurgeon Dr. Kohi Ebersol.

The procedure took seven hours, but the skewer was successfully removed. Xavier’s family and the doctors said he is lucky to be alive.

Xavier proved to be a strong kid, as he managed to remain calm through most of the incident. The skewer luckily missed Xavier’s eye, brain, and spinal column.

The 10-year-old is expected to make a full recovery and remains in the hospital. Xavier says he wants to keep the skewer to remember this day and that he defied the odds.