Yasser Lopez

Yasser Lopez

American teenager who survived a head injury
Country: USA

American teenager survives a spear through the head

It is commonly believed that a head injury is one of the most dangerous injuries a person can experience. Indeed, even a relatively benign blow can lead to catastrophic consequences. However, sometimes something completely unexpected happens – people survive even seemingly fatal wounds. Recently, 16-year-old Yasser Lopez was admitted to the hospital with a spear through his head; surprisingly, the teenager survived. Lopez was fortunate as the spear miraculously missed any major blood vessels in his brain. The spear accidentally struck Lopez in the head while he was playing with his friend who had brought a harpoon gun. The gun accidentally fired, and the harpoon pierced the boy's skull. The spear entered the skull about an inch below his eye and passed through his brain, exiting near the back of his head. Normally, such an injury would instantly kill a person, but Lopez not only survived but also remained fully conscious and able to communicate with the doctors, albeit briefly. Despite his ability to speak, the severity of the wound was not diminished – immediate action was required as quickly as possible. The first step was to stabilize the spear and the teenager – nobody wanted to find out what would happen if the spear even slightly shifted. Using wire cutters and specialized clamps, the medical team removed the portion of the harpoon that protruded nearly half a meter from under the boy's eye. After that, Lopez was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital, emphasizing the need to keep his head as still as possible during the journey. An angiogram confirmed that there was no damage to the blood vessels, and then the surgeons took over. The operation lasted about three hours, and ultimately, the spear was successfully removed. According to Anders Cohen, head of the neurosurgery and spine surgery division, the boy was saved by a fortunate combination of three factors. Firstly, as mentioned earlier, the spear managed to miss any major blood vessels in the brain. Secondly, the spear passed through the right hemisphere of the brain, which is considered less vital than the left hemisphere and contains fewer blood vessels. If the spear had gone through the left hemisphere, Lopez would likely have experienced problems with speech and thinking. Thirdly, the spear went straight through without hitting the area between the hemispheres, which contains crucial brain regions and numerous blood vessels. If the piece of iron had damaged this part, the boy would undoubtedly have been dead. Lopez has not yet been discharged from the hospital and is expected to stay here for some more time (up to three months). The doctors want to monitor the miraculously survived patient for a while longer, as they are concerned that an infection may have entered his brain. It should not be assumed that Lopez was completely unharmed by the blow – the sensitivity of the left side of his body has decreased somewhat, and he can currently only speak in short sentences. However, the fact that Yasser is able to speak at all is a miracle in itself; unfortunately, the brain takes quite a while to recover, so full control over his body will only return within a year. Special therapy will slightly accelerate this process – Lopez will be assisted in improving fine motor skills, learning to process information correctly, and speaking fluently. In any case, the worst is already behind him – Lopez managed to survive an injury that was practically fatal; all subsequent problems seem insignificant in comparison.

Yasser Lopez

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