Teen survives spear through skull
POSTED: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - 10:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - 10:04am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Yasser Lopez's injury astonished the experienced team at Ryder Trauma Center in Miami, Florida.
Lopez was accidentially shot in the head with a spear by a friend.
On Monday, he left intensive care and will eventually be moved to rehabilitation for about two or three months.
"It's a striking injury. It's something you don't see every day, to have a patient awake and speaking with a 3-foot spear through his head," Dr. George Garcia, an army trauma surgeon said.
Doctors said Lopez and his friend were going to go spear fishing in the ocean, but never made it.
Lopez has no recollection of what happened.
In order to get a CT scan of 16-year-old Lopez's brain, a special rescue team had to use a rebar cutter so he could fit into the scanner.
The doctors had their own dilemma.
"The most important thing is to resist that temptation to pull that thing out," said Ross Bullock, University of Miami/Jackson neurosurgeon.
The spear was about one inch above high right eye and then straight through and the tip was underneath the skin on the posterior part of the skull.
In a three-hour operation 11 days ago surgeons were able to remove the spear, and because of where it was situated, doctors are very optimistic about his recovery.
"The right side instead of the left side of the brain number one number two it miraculously missed all the main blood vessels in the brain," Bullock said. "The amazing thing is the boy is able to speak a little now. He is saying short sentences a few words short sentences. He is out of bed. "
Some potential problems could have been clumsiness and difficulty using his left leg or perhaps using his left arm, but he is right-handed.