Saturday, July 30, 2011

Impaled this month

Dez Heal, American schoolboy, age 13

The teenager and his friend Nicholas Blencow were pretending to be ninjas in their Lynchburg, Virginia, neighborhood when something went terribly wrong. He had been carrying a bamboo pole as his "weapon" and decided to put it in the back of his shirt. Nicholas reasons, "I guess when he jumped, the stick must have went forward. And when he hit the ground, the stick went in his neck." Resisting the urge to yank it out, a pale, blue-lipped Dez ran home with the lengthy pole protruding from the front and back of his neck (click on the cropped image for the article and graphic video). Dad remained calm and called 911, and his son was transported to the hospital as the possibilities rushed through his mind. "I'm thinking that I might pass out, maybe during the surgery when they pull it out, it's going to start gushing and they may not be able to save me. I'm hoping that it hasn't hit anything important," recounts Dez. Luckily, the artery had not been ruptured. Removal of the spear took surgeons 5 hours and left the boy vowing not to play so roughly.

Line Nersnaes, Norwegian civil servant, age 50

One moment she was sitting at her desk on the 11th floor of a government building in Oslo, and the next moment a deafening explosion shattered the wooden window next to her. Unaware that a car bomb had been detonated below, Line and her fellow employees headed for the door. She describes, "Everyone needed a couple of seconds to orientate ourselves, everybody who survived understood immediately that we had to get out of the building as fast as possible. We walked down the stairs, there was shattered broken glass everywhere, the building was destroyed." Having encountered her boss Knut Fosli in the hallway, they made the difficult descent together. Once they had reached street level, Line complained of a terrible headache, Knut looked at her. "You’ve got something sticking out of your head," he said. That something was a 12" spike of wood that had been driven through her head by the splintered window frame (click on the cropped image for the article and graphic photos). The giant splinter was removed at the hospital and had not caused any major damage, so she was stitched up and released. Line was back at work 5 days later. "I feel I’ve had some luck in all this bad luck, I’m very lucky to be alive."

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