BOSTON (CBS) – Three weeks after getting a pencil lodged deep into her brain, a 21-month old girl from New Hampshire is home, and on her way to what’s expected to be a full recovery.
Earlier this month, Olivia Smith was holding a colored pencil when she fell off a reclining chair in her New Boston home.READ MORE: Severe Thunderstorms Possible In Central, Eastern Massachusetts
As x-rays show, the pencil went through her eye cavity and into her brain.
Amazingly, doctors say the pencil missed all major vital areas of her brain. A millimeter off in any direction, and Smith likely would have suffered major brain damage or even death.
“If you asked me to sit down with a patient’s scan and draw a line that would go from one end of the brain to the other, avoiding every major blood vessel and even avoiding critical areas of the brain. I would be hard-pressed to find a pathway that would cause so little injury,” Dr. Darren Orbach, the division chief of interventional radiology at Boston Children’s Hospital told The Union Leader.READ MORE: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments
After hours of tests and planning, it took doctors about 40 minutes to successfully remove the pencil.
“I expect her to essentially make a full recovery, because of her age and how well she’s doing right off the bat,” Orbach told the newspaper.
Smith was moved to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, where she stayed for a week. Olivia went home last week and is well on her way to that full recovery.MORE NEWS: To Do List: Food Festival, Fluff Festival, Kids Festival and More
Orbach plans to publish a paper about the hospital’s medical response to the injury.