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Boy covered in wasps falls face-first onto grill skewer, lives to tell the tale

Illustration for article titled Boy covered in wasps falls face-first onto grill skewer, lives to tell the taleem/em
Photo: Arina_Bogachyova (iStock)

10-year-old Xavier Cunningham is going to write one hell of a “What I Did This Weekend” essay. On Saturday, the Harrisonville, Missouri boy survived a fall from his treehouse—while covered in yellow jackets—onto a meat skewer that impaled his face and skull, improbably missing his carotid and vertebral arteries. According to The Washington Post, Cunningham and his friends had found the metal meat skewer while playing on Saturday and had stuck it in the ground under their treehouse (as kids do).

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An X-ray shows the long, metal skewer sticking through Cunningham’s cheek under his eye and continuing nearly to the back of his head. Koji Ebersole, director of endovascular neurosurgery at the University of Kansas Health System and one of the team of ear, nose and throat doctors, neurosurgeons, pediatricians, and trauma doctors who operated on Cunningham, called the situation—and Cunningham’s survival—“one in a million.”

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Pardon my French, but holy shit.

The details of this terrifying saga are the stuff of nightmares: Not only did Cunningham fall face-first onto the skewer, but he was still covered in wasps when it happened. The boy’s father, Shannon Miller, describes the scene to the Post: “Xavier got up covered in yellow jackets—with a long rod protruding from his face—and started running toward his house, wailing, ‘Get them off me! Get them off me!’” I mean, can you even imagine what it’s like to see your wasp-covered kid running toward you with a metal rod sticking out of his face? Somebody get these parents a tropical vacation, stat.

But Cunningham ultimately seems fine and is recovering after his surgery on Sunday. Doctors don’t expect any lasting effects, and estimate that the boy will be able to return home from the hospital this week.

The Takeout’s PSA? Parents, lock up those meat skewers.

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Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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And being stung by wasps? You win, kid

- Phineas Gage