Falling Knife Lands in Man’s Head


After my brain surgery, I recall learning (or perhaps relearning) about the case of Phineas Gage, a 19th-century rail worker who survived an explosion that launched a long iron spike into the front of his skull and out the back. Gage was blinded in one eye by the accident, but he walked away from the explosion. Later, he did have neurological challenges.

The situation was so unusual, I thought the story had no practical value because a similar event would never happen today. I was wrong, there is definitely something to learn.

Article by Malcolm Moore | The Telegraph

2014-1218 Knife Wound

57-year-old Xiao Yunzhi was taking a stroll in his home town of Guangyuan, Sichuan province, when his head started feeling strangely heavy.

But it was only when the local tobacconist stared at him, slack-jawed, and pointed to the top of his skull that he realised that something was amiss.

As Mr Xiao was passing underneath a high-rise apartment block, a five-inch kitchen knife had fallen from an eighth-floor balcony, embedding itself up its hilt in the left side of his head, but without piercing his skull.

As soon as the problem had been pointed out, pain washed over Mr Xiao and he sat down in the street, while someone called an ambulance.

“It was terrifying to see,” said his younger sister, who only identified herself as Miss Xiao. “The knife handle was sticking out of the top.”

“He is stable but is not fully out of danger yet,” his sister said.

The owner of the knife, a man named only as Mr Wu, said he had left the knife in a flowerpot on the balcony, never thinking that it might drop.

“They told the police that the wind must have blown it off. They have already come to visit my brother in the hospital and have paid some of his medical bills,” Miss Xiao said. “I only hope he can get better soon,” she added.

Additional reporting by Adam Wu

Moral of the Story

Adversity can affect everyone, everywhere, at any time. Do not assume you will live a life free of adversity.


Click here to read another Beyond Injury post.

Thanks to Malcolm Moore for sharing his articleThe Telegraph for committing its resources to the article; all contributors to the article; all medical staff who participated in the surgeries and therapies; Google for helping me find the article; and all other people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the pictures and text I used in this post.

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