On June 7, 16-year-old Yasser Lopez was rushed to the University of Miami-Jackson Memorial Hospital. He was conscious, but had 3 feet of a spear in his skull, with the tip nearly pushing through the skin on the exiting side of the wound. Lopez had been spear fishing with a friend on a Florida lake when he was somehow shot in the head by a spear gun.
“The tip, it didn’t penetrate the skin but you could feel underneath the skin on the back of his head so we knew that it went all the way through,” said Dr. George Garcia, an assistant professor of surgery at the Army Trauma Training Center in interview with ABC News.
The X-rays of Lopez’s head showed the spear went through his head but at such an angle that it missed his eye and just managed not sever any of Lopez’s blood vessels.
Doctor’s said the spear came within an inch of Lopez’s central brain that controls heart rate and breathing.
Dr. Ross Bullock, a neurosurgeon at Jackson Memorial had this to say of the injury. “All of these are structures that, if this had happened to affect those, he would not have been likely to have survived to even get to the hospital. If you had to have a spear go through there [the head], then this spear chose the right path to go with the least damage.”
He has been moved out the intensive care unit and expected to make a full recovery, though doctors warn he may have some minor issues with movement on his left side. A video report from ABC is embedded below.