A 10-YEAR-OLD BOY is recovering in hospital after he fell out of a treehouse face-first onto a meat skewer.
Xavier Cunningham fell when he was attacked by wasps in the garden of his family home in Kansas, Missouri on Saturday.
His skull was penetrated from his face to the back of his head by the 30cm sharp metal spit, which was fixed upright beneath him.
Miraculously, the skewer completely missed the youngster's eye, brain, spinal cord and major blood vessels - but doctors say the outcome could have been drastically different.
Dr Koji Ebersole, the endovascular neurologist who treated Xavier at University of Kansas Hospital, said: "You couldn't draw it up any better.
"It was one in a million for it to pass five or six inches through the front of the face to the back and not have hit these things".
Xavier's mother Gabrielle Miller was alerted to the accident by her son's screams on Saturday afternoon and ran out to help him, when he told her: "I'm dying, mum".
Luckily, there was no active bleeding which allowed the hospital time to get personnel in place for emergency removal surgery on Sunday morning - a procedure complicated by the fact that the skewer was not round.
As the object was square with sharp edges, twisting it during the removal could have caused Xavier an additional severe injury.
Dr Ebersole called the boy's recovery "miraculous".
He added: "I have not seen anything passed to that depth in a situation that was survivable, let alone one where we think the recovery will be near complete if not complete."