Xavier Cunningham fell out of a tree house when some yellow jackets started stinging him. Unfortunately, his fall was broken by a foot-long meat skewer. The 10-year-old from Kansas City, Missouri, was whisked to the hospital where he and his family spent a harrowing 24 hours as Xavier hung between life and death. His family prayed and asked their church to pray for a recovery that would require nothing short of a miracle.
“I want to see Jesus, but I don’t want to see him right now,” Xavier’s mother recalls him saying as he was fighting for his life. He told her he could feel himself dying.
The skewer impaled Xavier’s head, just narrowly missing his left eye, brain and spinal cord. The accident occurred on Saturday, September 8, 2018, but doctors decided to wait until Sunday morning to perform surgery so they could gather the necessary team and prepare for the nerve-wracking operation to remove the skewer. Over and over again, they told the family there was a very good chance Xavier would not survive.
Xavier’s father posted a request for prayer early on Sunday before the surgery. He wrote:
My beloved Lord my God. I do not know the plans you have [for] us. If it’s your will to heal my son I ask that you do so quickly. But if you take him, I will forever be honored that you allowed me to call him my son, my boy, my own bear. I will still worship you my king. I will draw strength the from you as I grieve. I will take rest in knowing you love me. I will not forsake you, my God my king, I will forever praise you. Please have mercy on us, your will on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
It took a team of 100 doctors and other medical staff hours to remove the skewer. A family friend, Malachi O’Brien, describes the scene he witnessed as he visited the family in the hospital.
On Sunday morning around 8:00 am, while at KU medical, his surgery began. It was decided by a very large team of doctors from various hospitals to perform the procedure in Kansas City. This team was united in the efforts to save his life. They had tirelessly prepared all through the night for every possible scenario and outcome. The doctors made it clear that they were going to do all that they could to remove the stake. They also made it clear that there was no guarantee that he would live.
After several hours of surgery, I was in the waiting room in the family when they received the words that everyone wanted to hear and had prayed desperately to hear. “The stake has been removed.” It was an emotional tidal wave. Literally in the span of several hours, thousands of people had begun to pray for Xavier from across the city, state, nation and world.
The doctors came out in the middle of the afternoon to bring the news that the surgery was over and that he was being transferred to the Neuro intensive care unit. We heard many of them say that they had never seen anything like this in all their years and that this young man was incredibly “lucky.” It was a miracle.
One doctor, Koji Ebersole, also described the outcome as “miraculous.” He told The Kansas City Star, “I have not seen anything passed to that depth in a situation that was survivable, let alone one where we think the recovery will be near complete if not complete.”
You can be sure there are a lot of people praising God in Kansas City today.