For 10-year-old Aman Vishwakarma from Uttar Pradesh, India, his terrifying brush with death could be described as nothing less than a miracle. The youngster cheated death when he fell off 12ft off a roof and got impaled by a 4ft metal rod. The rod entered his body at the thigh and exited through the back. Incredibly, it missed all vital organs and only grazed his spine. The pics might be a bit graphic for some so viewer discretion advised as you continue...
Doctors worked for four hours to remove the rod without causing permanent damage. It had torn a major blood vessel, pierced his bowel and diaphram, grazed his spine and possibly ruptured his lungs - causing two litres of blood to build up in his abdomen.
Recalling his death-defying fall, Aman told of how he was laying mud onto the roof of his family home when the structure collapsed. He screamed in agony as he fell on the exposed spike which was fixed to a concrete block – as neighbours rushed to help him to the nearby Narayan Swaroop Hospital.
His mother Kamla Devi, 30, collapsed when she saw him lying on the ground with the spike protruding from his body.
Kamla said: 'They took me to the hospital to see my son. I had completely given up on his chances of survival. So I couldn't believe when the doctor told me he was alive.'
She added: 'It's a miracle. It's no exaggeration to compare the doctors with gods. If not gods, they are god-sent to us.'
It took a team of six hospital staff to remove the rod from the small boy without permanently damaging major blood vessels and organs.
Dr Rajeev Singh, the 'hero' surgeon who operated on Aman, said he believed before the operation that saving him was 'practically impossible'.
'His condition was very critical,' Dr Singh said. 'His blood pressure was zero. If the patient was not operated within hours of accident, he could collapsed.'
Aman, who now uses a colostomy bag, has not been able play his beloved cricket or go to school since the accident in October.
According to a British doctor, the boy had been 'millimetres' from death – and now faces a lifetime of medical complications.
Dr Arun Ghosh said: 'I think it's pure luck that he survived.
'Obviously the doctor's did an excellent job but most of the time, when people are impaled, they will die instantly or soon after from bleeding. It would have taken major and complex surgery to save him. You'd have needed a vascular surgeon, a respiratory surgeon, a neurosurgeon, and they would have to be at the top of their game.
'I'm not sure we would be able to get such a major trauma team together on such short notice.
'The spinal damage could mean he suffers from erectile dysfunction, pins and needles in his hands and feet, a lack of coordination and possibly even loss of bladder function.
'Spinal damage - very close to the areas to the top of his spine - could cause feeling, erectile dysfunction, again bladder function, pins and needles in the hands and feet, lack of coordination.
'Because it entered near his anus, he's definitely not going to be able to go to the toilet normally for a very long time, and he'll probably need a colostomy bag to pee.
'Walking is going to be a problem in the short term and because of his damage lungs, he never going to be able to run a marathon.'He will have some life long problems but really, he survived something he should have died from.'