Teen’s remarkable recovery after being impaled by three-foot fishing spear

A teenager who was accidentally shot in the forehead with a three-foot fishing spear is miraculously recovering from his injuries, his doctors have revealed.

An X-ray shows the spear lodged in the head of Yasser Lopez,16. Photo credit: Jackson Memorial Hospital

Medical experts have been left stunned after the stainless steel spear narrowly missed every major blood vessel in the brain of 16-year-old Yasser Lopez.

A dramatic X-ray scan shows part of the spear protruding from his skull after rescuers cut down 18 inches of the spear from the outside of his head to allow doctors to carry out a full radiographic examination.

The freak accident occurred on 7 June when Mr Lopez, of Miami-Dade County, Florida, was on a fishing trip with friends.

As the schoolboy’s friend loaded the speargun, the spear accidentally deployed, hitting him in the head.

The spear entered the teenager’s head two inches above the right eye and came out the back of his skull.

Lopez was then rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center where doctors were able to successfully remove the spear from his skull and brain.

[Related link: US man contracts 'plague' after being bitten by mouse]


The life-saving operation lasted approximately three hours.

According to neurosurgeons at the Jackson Memorial Hospital, in Miami, the three-foot shaft somehow missed every major blood vessel in the brain and pierced the right, not left side of his brain, sparing his speech.

Speaking a press conference on Monday, Dr George Garcia said: “It's a striking injury, something you don't see every day - a patient arriving awake and speaking with a three-foot spear through his head.

“The first obstacle is to not be distracted by the obvious sensational aspect of the injury.”


Giving an update on the boy’s condition, neurosurgeon Dr Ross Bullock said that as bad as it looked, it could have been much worse.

He said: “The right side, instead of the left side of the brain, No. 1. No 2, it miraculously missed all of the main blood vessels in the brain.”

Mr Lopez was moved out of the Intensive Care Unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami on Monday.

He is still hospitalised and has another two to three months of rehabilitation ahead of him, but medics expect him to make a near-full recovery.

“Young people rehabilitate from injuries like this incredibly well, so we are very upbeat about his potential for recovery,” Dr Bullock added

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options