A 15-year-old Kansas boy got a large knife embedded in his face, and doctors say he is extremely lucky.
Jimmy Russell said her son, Eli Gregg, was playing on Thursday evening outside their home in Redfield, about 90 miles south of Kansas City, when she heard him scream. She found him with a 10in knife jutting from just below his eye and called 911.
“It looked pretty grim, it was scary,” Ms Russell said in a video released by the University of Kansas Health System, where he was treated.
The knife was embedded in his skull and extended to just under his brain. The blade’s tip was pushing against his carotid artery, which supplies the brain with blood.
“It could not have had a pound more force on it and him survive that event,” said Dr Koji Ebersole, who oversaw the extraction. “I don’t think he would have survived it.”
A team of surgeons put together an intricate plan to remove the blade. They were prepared for possible bleeding into the brain, but the operation went without a hitch and the artery remained intact.
Within 24 hours of the operation, Eli was able to talk and make light of the situation. He was due to be discharged on Monday.
“He says he is going to stay away from sharp objects,” Ms Russell said. “That is very understandable.”
She said Eli is doing great and should make a full recovery.
“It is almost a miracle,” she added. “It is really, really amazing.”
Eli is fortunate he ended up in the hands of Dr Ebersole, as he had removed a meat skewer from the skull of a 10-year-old Missouri boy last year in an accident that provided equally shocking X-rays.
That boy was attacked by yellow jacket wasps in a tree house in Harrisonville, about 35 miles south of Kansas City, and fell on to the skewer.