Yasser Lopez, teen shot in the head while loading speargun, recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital

MIAMI, Fla. -- A Florida teenager miraculously survived a frightening encounter with a spear-gun early this month after doctors at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital worked fast to save his life.

Yasser Lopez, 16, is on the road to recovery after being accidentally shot in the head while loading a speargun with a friend earlier this month. The three-foot spear went straight through his skull.

"It was about one inch above his right eye straight through," said trauma surgeon Dr. George Garcia. "You could feel the tip under the skin on the posterior part of the skull."

An X-ray scan shows Lopez's brain after rescuers used a re-bar tool to cut down 18-inches of stainless steel spear to even fit him in the scanner.

"The most important thing is to resist that temptation to pull the thing out," neurosurgeon Dr. Ross Bullock said.

Bullock and his trauma neurosurgeon team determined the tip of the spear inside Loez's head was actually a screw tip.

"It was possible for us to figure out a strategy during the operation to be able to unscrew the tip of the spear, instead of having to get this whole spear dragged out through his brain," Bullock said.

And miraculously, the three-foot shaft somehow missed every major blood vessel in the brain and pierced the right, not left side of his brain, sparing his speech.

His words are actually, amazingly easy to understand," Bullock said. "He can, for example, he says he's not having pain. He's worried about the fact he can't use his left-side properly."

As for the day he got shot, Lopez knows nothing.

"He woke up, the story, the version we got was that he woke up with a spear in his head," said Bullock. "He probably won't ever regain those memories."

Lopez was moved out of the Intensive Care Unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital Monday.

He's still hospitalized and has another two-to-three months of rehabilitation ahead of him.

But doctors expect him to make a near-full recovery.


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