Yasser Lopez was swimming in a lake near his home in Miami-Dade, Florida, when a friend accidentally set off the gun while he was loading it.
The spear entered the 16-year-old’s head just above his right eye, penetrated through his brain, before coming out the back of his skull.
Miraculously, no vital blood vessels in the brain were damaged by the harpoon and the fortunate youngster is now recovering at the Jackson Memorial Hospital (JMH).
JMH Neurosurgeon Ross Bullock admitted it was astonishing that the lodged object had not hit any vital parts of the brain.
‘It’s a miracle the spear missed all the main blood vessels of the brain,’ he said. ‘The most important thing is to resist that temptation to pull that thing out.’
Doctors had to use fire and rescue equipment to cut away a section of the spear so Lopez could be X-rayed.
The rest of the spear was removed by doctors following an extensive three hour operation.
‘It’s a striking injury, something you don’t see everyday – a patient arriving awake and speaking with a 3-foot spear through his head,’ explained Dr. George Garcia.