As a mom, I’m a big fan of my kids learning through outdoor play. Even though it can result in some typical childhood injuries, the benefits generally outweigh the risks. After all, we can’t raise our kids in a bubble, right? However for one Missouri boy, Xavier Cunningham, a regular day of outdoor play nearly turned deadly. Doctors in Kansas City, are calling the 10-year-old’s recovery from a freak accident “miraculous,” according to the Kansas City Star.
Malachi O’Brien, who is affiliated with ForEveryMom’s sister site ChurchLeaders.com, also happens to be Xavier’s pastor, and posted on Facebook last night that he too had witnessed the medical miracle. He describes being shaken when he received a text from the family on Saturday, which said, “Xavier is seriously hurt please call church and pray. In ER now. It’s really bad.” O’Brien rushed to the emergency room to be with the family. There, he was shaken by what he saw.
Xavier was badly injured, and O’Brien ascertained from the family how the accident unfolded. The boy had been playing in a tree house when he began being stung by a swarm of yellow jackets. While trying to get away from the insects, he fell out of the tree and landed face-first on a very long meat-skewer, impaling himself all the way his face, through both side of his skull. The Star says, “His skull was pierced from front-to-back with half a foot of skewer still sticking out of his face.” The x-rays pictured above are fairly terrifying to look at.
In an emotional interview with ABC News, Xavier’s mom Gabrielle Miller says Xavier told her, “I’m dying, Mom. I can feel it.”
At the hospital, it was determined that Xavier needed to be transported to a different hospital with more resources for surgery. Though his ordeal began Saturday afternoon, his surgery did not begin until Sunday morning. It took a team of one-hundred doctors and medical staff several hours to remove the skewer, which had miraculously missed Xavier’s eye and brain.
Pastor O’Brien wrote that after the surgery as he sat with Xavier’s family, “The doctors came out in the middle of the afternoon to bring the news that the surgery was over and that he was being transfered [sic] to the Neuro intensive care unit. We heard many of them say that they had never seen anything like this in all their years and that this young man was incredibly ‘lucky’. It was a miracle.”