Healthbeat

Toddler gets pencil stuck 5 inches into brain

Friday, January 25, 2013

A freak accident involving a toddler and a pencil may have parents thinking twice.

Olivia Smith, 19 months old, in New Hampshire fell on one of her pencils, and it pierced her brain. Her story is nothing short of a miracle, and doctors are still astounded.

"Olivia was sitting in her chair, and she was coloring with a colored pencil All of a sudden she was on the floor. My 3-year-old said, "It's in her head! The pencil is in her head!'" said mom Susie Smith.

That pencil pierced the 19-month-old's eye, then lodged 5.5 Inches into her brain.

Olivia was airlifted to the hospital.

"I thought she was dying in my arms," Susie Smith said.

The stunning x-ray is the first thing surgeons at Boston Children's Hospital see.

"The pencil entered over the right eye and literally crossed the brain to the back next to the left ear," said Dr. Darren Orbach, neurointerventionalist.

It defies logic. But the pencil didn't puncture anything vital. Olivia's doctors are relieved but baffled. They had to find a way to get it out safely.

"The worry at that point was that there was an injury that was being held in place by the pencil," said Orbach.

With the help of a team of 50 doctors and a one-of-a-kin procedure, the pencil was safely removed.

(Copyright ©2014 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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