1. Headline
  1. Headline

Video: Mom of teen who survived spear through head: ‘It’s incredible’

  1. Closed captioning of: Mom of teen who survived spear through head: ‘It’s incredible’

    >>> a florida teenager is lucky to be alive today. he was recently on a spear fishing trip with a friend when he was shot through the head by a 3-foot spear . we'll speak with him exclusively in just a moment, but first, the latest from nbc's kerry sanders .

    >> here, over there, leads to the rock where i was fishing.

    >> reporter: 16-year-old yasser lopez visits the lake where he nearly lost his life.

    >> i was almost dead in this water. for a simple fishing trip.

    >> reporter: he was spear fishing with a friend using a 3-foot, gas-powered speargun, when somehow, the gun went off, striking lopez in the head. his friend called 911.

    >> the speargun just went through my friend's head. we're on a lake, a lake. please come.

    >> reporter: lopez was rushed to the hospital, the spear through the skull.

    >> it went front to back. that's mighty unusual. i've never seen that, exactly that combination.

    >> reporter: doctors say a series of miracles helped lopez survive. the spear missed important blood vessels and vital structures of the brain. in a delicate surgery that lasted more than four hours, they were able to remove the spear from the teenager's head.

    >> okay, grab the bar.

    >> reporter: now, lopez faces months of therapy. the accident left him with partial paralysis on the left side of his body.

    >> right there, like that.

    >> reporter: and memories of what happened are now slowly starting to come back.

    >> i remember being in the ambulance when they picked me up. i was telling them, take the spear out, feel it inside the head, so i wanted them to take it out.

    >> reporter: doctors say if he had pulled the spear out, he would have died, but that didn't happen, thanks to the kindness of a stranger.

    >> right here. half of his body was in the water.

    >> reporter: astrid cardoza was near the lake that day. she heard yelling and ran over to help, telling lopez not to pull on the spear .

    >> i just hold his hand and i said, you can. and he told me, please, don't let me die. and i says, you're not going to die.

    >> reporter: lopez and his family were overcome with emotion during a reunion with cardoza at the accident scene.

    >> oh, my god, he looks terrific!

    >> reporter: lopez knows the road to recovery is going to be tough, but he's not giving up. he says he may even go fishing again some day.

    >> if i do ever spear fish again, very safely and with a grown-up near me.

    >> reporter: for "today," kerry sanders , nbc news, miami.

    >> yasser lopez and his mother are here for an exclusive interview. good morning to both of you.

    >> good morning.

    >> you're making progress and you're feeling good?

    >> mm-hmm.

    >> i understand from kerry's piece, slowly the memories are coming back from what happened that day? what do you remember?

    >> i remember holding a fish that my friend had caught, then following it to the water, then just seeing the spear in my head.

    >> you could see it in your head.

    >> yeah, i could see it. i could see it.

    >> that spear through your head. did you realize what had happened?

    >> no.

    >> you get the phone call from your husband that your only son, your only child was in this terrible accident.

    >> we got to the hospital. there we found yasser with the speargun in his head. oh, my god, i am so --

    >> how did you keep standing? i can't imagine you didn't collapse.

    >> i thought my son is going to die, mm-hmm.

    >> and doctors told you to still talk to him, even though he was unconscious.

    >> yeah. the doctor said you can tell something, he can hear you. i said to him here, yasser , mama and daddy are here, everything is going to be okay. that said, we are very frustrated with that.

    >> when you look at him now and he's making progress with physical therapy , he's smiling, you probably didn't think you would get to this point. you thought you would lose him.

    >> it's incredible.

    >> it's incredible.

    >> it's incredible, yeah.

    >> yasser , do you feel like you're a miracle walking?

    >> yes.

    >> and i imagine around the neighborhood, everyone wants to talk with you about how you survived this. you're one tough man, young man. do you feel that way?

    >> mm-hmm.

    >> we're very happy to see you, and i know you're going to get better every day. thank you.

Text: We're sorry. The text content of this page is no longer available.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. @HillaryClinton/twitter

    Hillary Clinton: Granddaughter led me 'to speed up' political plans

    4/10/2015 3:58:42 PM +00:00 2015-04-10T15:58:42
  1. Courtesy Bryan Morseman

    Marathon dad's victories help raise money for son with spina bifida

    4/10/2015 5:54:50 PM +00:00 2015-04-10T17:54:50
  1. YouTube

    8 great celebrity impressions of other celebrities

    4/10/2015 6:44:22 PM +00:00 2015-04-10T18:44:22