‘Miraculous’: Boy, 10, cheats death after falling face-first onto a meat skewer

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

A 10-year-old boy who fell head-first onto a meat skewer is recovering  in hospital after narrowly cheating death.

Xavier Cunningham’s skull was pierced by the metal spike after he fell from a tree-house at his home in Harrisonville, Missouri, when he was attacked by wasps.

Unbelievably, the skewer missed his eyes, brain, spinal cord and major blood vessels.

Xavier was attacked by a swarm of yellow jacket wasps before the the freak accident on Saturday.

An X-ray shows how a meat skewer impaled in the skull of Xavier Cunningham after he fell from his tree house (AP)
Xavier gives a thumbs up while recovering at the University of Kansas Hospital after surgery to remove the skewer (AP)

He fell from the tree onto the 30cm skewer, that penetrated around six inches into his skull.

Xavier managed to pick himself up and walk into the house where his distraught mother, Gabrielle Miller, saw him with the spike ‘just sticking out’.

Mrs Miller said her son told her: ‘I’m dying, mum, I can feel it.’


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Xavier was taken to the University of Kansas City hospital for surgery to remove the skewer from his head.

His injury had no active bleeding and had avoided his eyes, brainstem, spinal cord and blood vessels.

Koji Ebersole, director of endovascular neurosurgery at the University of Kansas Health System, told the Kansas City Star: ‘You couldn’t draw it up any better.

Xavier had surgery to remove the spike at University of Kansas City hospital (Google)

‘It was one in a million for it to pass 5 or 6 inches through the front of the face to the back and not have hit these things.’

Dr Ebersole called the boy’s recovery ‘miraculous’, adding: ‘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.’

While Xavier is expected to make a full recovery, doctors warned that his voice may be affected by the injury.

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