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Florida Teenager Survives Bizarre Brain Injury

A 16-year-old boy in Florida survived despite suffering brain injuries from a fishing spear that went through his head recently. The accident occurred when a spear gun he and a friend were using at a Florida lake accidentally fired, shooting the spear right into his head.

Doctors at a local hospital reacted quickly when the youth was rushed there. When he was brought in, about three feet of the spear were sticking out from his head. Surgeons carefully removed the spear in a surgical procedure that kept the boy alive. He was conscious when first brought in.

Doctors believe that paramedics acted properly by not pulling the spear out themselves right away, as doing so would likely have proved fatal. X-rays reveal that the spear did not penetrate any major brain blood vessels and also luckily did not injure his eye. It did penetrate his brain’s right hemisphere, but did so above the portion of the brain which governs breathing, heart rate, and the senses. He may, however, have some trouble moving the left side of his body.

Had that portion of the brain been injured, one doctor says, the boy might not have stayed alive long enough to reach the hospital. Luckily, the spear seemed to have traveled a path which did the least damage possible while still going entirely through the brain.

Days after the operation to remove the spear, the teen was sitting up and speaking, and was moved out of intensive care. Medical personnel say that he is recovering remarkably well from the unusual injury.

Source: Medical Daily, “Florida teen cheats death, survives freak fishing accident when spear impales brain,” Christine Hsu, June 19, 2012

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