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Doctors Save Teenager Impaled in the Head by Spear

Yasser Lopez, teenage Jackson patient that was saved

In June 2012, 16-year-old Yasser Lopez and his friends went spearfishing at a Miami lake – a way to celebrate the last day of school. One of his friends was loading the spear gun when it accidentally deployed, hitting Lopez in the head. Lopez was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center with three feet of the spear protruding from his forehead.

The spear entered Yasser’s head two inches above the right eye and came out at the vertex at the back of his skull. A rebar cutter, provided by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, and Vise-Grips (locking pliers) were used to stabilize the spear in the patient’s head. Eighteen inches of the protruding spear were removed on the outside of his forehead to allow doctors to do a complete radiographic evaluation. Luckily, the spear didn’t hit any vessels in his brain.

Yasser was then rushed to the operating room where doctors successfully removed the remaining spear from his skull and brain. The surgery lasted approximately three hours.

Yasser underwent physical, occupational, and speech therapy at Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital for two months.

“I’m thankful to the team who saved my life,” said Yasser. “They helped me transform my life from what I was when I arrived at the hospital to where I am today.”

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